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Access Vikings: Oregon QB Marcus Mariota returning to school

  • Blog Post by: Master Tesfatsion
  • December 3, 2013 - 5:09 PM

One quarterback has already removed himself from the 2014 NFL Draft.

Oregon announced on its official Instagram account redshirt sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota will return for his junior season. He completed 63.1 percent of his passes this season for 3,412 yards, 30 touchdowns and four interceptions.

“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,” Mariota said in a press release. “I look forward to earning my degree next year and to the rest of my career at this great university.”

Mariota was ranked the top quarterabck (third overall) by ESPN's Scouts Inc. and Todd McShay ahead of Lousville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (fifth), but Mel Kiper Jr. had Mariota as the second best quarterback (fifth overall) behind Bridgewater. 

The announcement eliminates a possible option at quarterback for the Vikings in the upcoming draft.

Without Mariota, Bridgewater, Hundley and Manziel have been widely regarded as the top quarterbacks in this class, but they all also still have eligibility remaining. Hundley is the least likely to declare for the draft out of the three quarterbacks.

If the season ended today, the Vikings would have the sixth overall pick.

© 2014 Star Tribune