One high-profile Heisman winner is heading to the NFL.
One high-profile former — and perhaps future — Heisman candidate is returning to school.
Marcus Mariota will not play his senior season at Oregon and has decided to head to the NFL. He led the Ducks to the College Football Playoff national championship game, where they lost 42-20 to Ohio State on Monday night.
Mariota won every major award he qualified for, starting with the Heisman Trophy, as well as AP Player of the Year and Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. He set a conference record for most touchdowns in a single season with 58.
“My four years at the University of Oregon have been an awesome experience,” Mariota said in a statement. “I cannot thank coach Kelly, coach Helfrich, coach Frost, the rest of the Oregon coaches and the support staff enough for molding me as a person, player and student-athlete.
Mariota joins 2013 Heisman winner Jameis Winston in this spring’s draft.
Tampa Bay has the top pick.
Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott, on the other hand, will return for his senior season after leading the Bulldogs to a 10-3 record, which included losses in three of their final four games.
Georgia Tech defeated Mississippi State 49-34 in the Orange Bowl, a game in which Prescott was 33 for 51 for 453 yards, three TDs and one interception. He also rushed for 47 yards and a score.
Prescott will be considered the top returning QB in the SEC next year, a group that also includes Tennessee’s Joshua Dobbs, Arkansas’ Brandon Allen and Missouri’s Maty Mauk.