Mariota not ready to make NFL decision

DALLAS — Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota wouldn’t commit to anything in the aftermath of Oregon’s loss to Ohio State in the national championship game Monday night, but some decisions are due quickly.

Mariota, a fourth-year junior, has until Jan. 15 to decide if he wants to enter the 2015 NFL Draft.

"I’ll take the next couple days with my family to make that decision," Mariota said after Ohio State’s 42-20 victory.

If he declares for the draft, he’s expected to be a first-round pick. He was projected by many to be a first-round pick last season but decided to return to Oregon.

Mariota could choose to be back on the field as soon as next week, too. Senior Bowl CEO Phil Savage, former general manager of the Cleveland Browns and longtime personnel executive with the Baltimore Ravens, has said he’ll invite Mariota to the Senior Bowl if he declares for the draft.

Savage hasn’t spoken to Mariota directly but has held open a quarterback spot on the roster. Practices for the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., begin Jan. 20 and are attended by general managers, coaches and scouts from every NFL team.

Mariota would be eligible for the Senior Bowl because he’s spent four years at Oregon and has graduated.

Asked after the national championship game what he hopes his Oregon legacy will be if he’s played his last college game, Mariot said, "I don’t care about legacies. That’s other people’s opinions. My focus was to be a great teammate. That’s all I hoped to accomplish."

Mariota threw for 4,454 yards and 42 touchdowns this season. He was intercepted for just the fourth time all season on the final play of the national championship game.

Follow on Twitter FSOhioZJackson