Nearly 4 months until the NFL Draft, and Bucs fans have already started their heated debate between Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota for the 1st pick in that draft. While Jameis Winston has already declared for the draft early, many expect Mariota to do the same this week, many except Mariota himself.
"I really haven't made my decision yet," Mariota said at media day for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game via NFL.com. "I don't know if that's my future. It hasn't been a distraction because I'm really just focusing on this game and making sure I go out there prepared."
The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft is January 15th, which is just 3 days after the National Championship Game. With such a limited time, one would assume Mariota has indeed already made up his mind.
Mariota has been stellar in the specialized Oregon offense. Over the past three years as their starting quarterback, Mariota has totaled 103 touchdown passes and just 13 interceptions, including a 40-3 TD-INT ratio for 2014. He's also added 2,198 yards and 31 touchdowns total on the ground over 3 years.
One thing Mariota has not done is win a national title. If Oregon loses on Monday night, could Mariota return to Oregon for his senior season to try and win that title?
"Marcus might come back, you never know," Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich said during the Dan Patrick show last week.
The safe assumption is that Mariota will in fact declare for the NFL Draft, but much like it was with Jameis Winston, until he actually does it, there is always the chance that he chooses to return to the Nike kingdom of the University of Oregon instead.
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