Oregon QB Justin Herbert bypassing 2019 NFL Draft, will return to Ducks for senior season

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One of the top quarterbacks available for the 2019 NFL Draft has instead opted to return to school for another year, officially shaking up this year's draft order for signal-callers. In a release from Oregon, quarterback Justin Herbert announced he would be coming back to the Ducks for his senior season in 2019. 

"The University of Oregon has been a special place for me for as long as I can remember. Words will never be able to express my feelings of gratitude towards the people who have built and maintain[ed] our program. What I have come to realize, though, is that nothing could pull me away from the opportunities that we have in front of us," Herbert said in a statement. "As we prepare for our bowl game, I would like to ensure that there are no distractions outside of this game. My commitment to my teammates, our coaches, Ducks fans, and the University of Oregon has never been stronger." 

Oregon will play Michigan State in the RedBox Bowl on New Year's Eve at 3 p.m. ET.   

The strong-armed, 6-foot-6 signal-caller was a preseason Heisman contender who threw for 2,985 yards this season and scored 30 touchdowns as the Ducks went 8-4. Ahead of the upcoming NFL Draft, there were questions as to whether Herbert would return for his senior season -- which was the longtime lean -- or (no pun intended) duck out early. Had Herbert declared for the draft, he would have been one of the top quarterbacks available, if not No. 1. CBS Sports ranked Herbert as the No. 13 overall prospect and the No. 1 quarterback, and the latest CBS Sports mock draft had Herbert going No. 4 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Instead, Oregon, the Pac-12 and all of college football, really, will get one of its star players back for one more year.

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

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