Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota confirmed he intends to return to the team for at least one more season after it was learned he had requested his grade from the NFL Advisory Committee.
Oregon’s senior associate athletic director, Craig Pintens, said Mariota requested the grade following the Ducks’ victory over Oregon State on Nov. 29. Mariota told 750 The Game radio in Portland, “To clear any confusion, I’m very blessed and thankful to come back.”
The standout redshirt sophomore quarterback announced on Dec. 3 that he intended to return to the Ducks in 2013, but NFLDraftScout.com confirmed Wednesday that he had requested his evaluative grade from the Advisory Committee.
Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare for the NFL draft..
The strong-armed, highly athletic Mariota was thought to boast more exciting skills than any other quarterback available in 2014, including Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, NFLDraftScout.com’s top-rated quarterback. While Fresno State senior Derek Carr and Texas A&M redshirt sophomore Johnny Manziel – who has not stated his intentions yet – are also rated as top 12 prospects, Mariota was regularly among the site’s top five prospects for 2014 before saying he would return to school
Alabama suspended linebacker Xzavier Dickson and freshman tailback Alvin Kamara for the Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl. Coach Nick Saban did not disclose a reason.
Dickson is a backup linebacker. He has played in 12 games and has 13 tackles and a sack. Kamara hasn’t played.
Purdue said on Thursday it has joined Pittsburgh and Michigan on the list of teams that usually play Notre Dame on a near-annual basis but won’t be any longer. … North Carolina offensive coordinator Blake Anderson was named head football coach at Arkansas State. … New Boise State coach Bryan Harsin convinced top assistants at Texas A&M and Stanford to come back and coach at their alma matter. Harsin said former Broncos player and assistant Marcel Yates will return to be defensive coordinator. Harsin tapped former BSU quarterback Mike Sanford Jr. to be the offensive coordinator. … North Carolina Central has hired South Alabama assistant Jerry Mack as its football coach.