Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota

Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota, junior quarterback for the Oregon Ducks, has declared his eligibility for this year’s NFL draft.

“After meeting with my family, I have decided to forgo my final year of eligibility and apply for the 2015 NFL draft,” Mariota said in a statement. “My four years at the University of Oregon have been an awesome experience. I cannot thank Coach Kelly, Coach Helfrich, Coach Frost, the restof the Oregon coaches and the support staff enough for molding me as a person, player and student-athlete.”

In Mariota’s Heisman season, he set a Pac-12 Conference record with 58 total touchdowns, including 15 on the run and one touchdown catch.  Mariota has thrown at least one touchdown in all 41 of his games, which is second in NCAA history.  He also led Oregon to the College Football Playoff National Championship game against Ohio State, although they lost 42-20.

Mariota’s stellar season puts him in line as the projected overall No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, which belongs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to ESPN Insider Todd McShay’s latest mock draft.

“It’s been an honor to watch Marcus develop over the last four years, and I’m excited to see what his future holds,” Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said in a news release, according to ESPN.  “He’s given this program everything we could have asked, and he’ll be the standard by which others are judged. Mahalo.”