“It is an honor to be a student at the University of Oregon and to have the opportunity to represent our institution on the football field alongside my teammates,” said Mariota. “I look forward to earning my degree next year and to the rest of my career at this great University.”
■ ATQ got to spend a little quality time with LaMichael James recently and share the videos to prove it.
■ Joey Holland takes a look at Josh Huff's career at Oregon and where he stands in the Oregon record books.
■ John Canzano believes the Mariota-Grasu announcement is a huge win for Mark Helfrich.
■ Andrew Greif wonders about the backups to Mariota and Grasu and if they might decide to transfer.
■ Dale Newton adds his thoughts on Mariota and Grasu staying another year.
It's simply the best Christmas present that the Oregon coaches, team and fans could possibly have wished for. It puts this year's bowl game in an entirely different light. A few weeks ago, skeptics were talking about this being the end of the Ducks recent run of success. Now, it looks like a new beginning.
■ Todd McShay called it a smart decision by Mariota to stay for another year.
But the real story here to me is that a player who potentially could have been the No. 1 overall draft pick said, No, I’m not ready. There aren’t many guys mature enough to make that self-evaluation and turn down all that money. But outside of one year’s paycheck, I don’t see much downside to this. By spending another year in college, it might allow him to have more success in the pros and end up earning a bigger second contract.
Mariota could have succeeded had he left this year, but in the 2015 draft he’ll be so much more of a finished product. The upside is already there, but why not have the refined skills be there as well? That's why I think this is a smart decision.