Justin Herbert decides to stay at Oregon for senior season and bypass NFL draft

College defenses will have to worry about Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert for one more season. 

The 6-foot-6 signal caller, rated as one of the top prospective quarterbacks in this spring's NFL draft, declined the opportunity to start his professional football career after a standout junior campaign.

The Ducks announced Wednesday that Herbert would return for his senior season — when he should be one of the top Heisman candidates in 2019. 

In 2018, Herbert threw for 2,985 yards and scored 28 touchdowns in leading Oregon to an 8-4 record, including an overtime defeat of Stanford. The team is expected to be a top contender in the Pac-12 with Herbert's return.

The Ducks face Michigan State on Dec. 31 in the Redbox Bowl, and Herbert said in a school statement that he didn't want his pending status to distract his teammates.

"The University of Oregon has been a special place for me as long as I can remember," Herbert said in the statement. "Words will never be able to express my feelings of gratitude toward the people that have built and maintain our program. What I have come to realize, though, is nothing could pull me away from the opportunities we have in front of us."

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