UNC’s Mitch Trubisky Says Difficult NFL Decision Is ‘A Blessing’

UNC quarterback Mitch Trubisky is preparing for his team’s Sun Bowl matchup against Stanford. One the horizon, a decision regarding the 2017 NFL Draft looms.

While UNC’s Mitch Trubisky is preparing for his team’s clash with Stanford in the Sun Bowl, the star quarterback is also weighing whether to stay in school for his senior season or enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

Tar Heels head coach Larry Fedora said on Sunday that Trubisky is not likely to announce his plans until after the Tar Heels’ bowl game on Dec. 30.

The fourth-year junior began catching the eyes of NFL personnel early in the 2016 season, particularly after he helped lead UNC to late comeback victories over Pitt and Florida State. Veteran ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. said that Trubisky is the top draft-eligible quarterback in the country.

Trubisky has completed 68.9 percent of his throws for 3,468 yards with 28 touchdown passes, and has just four interceptions this season. His accuracy and awareness in the pocket are notable traits that are attractive to pro scouts. The fact that he could be one of the top signal-callers taken this year makes the decision that much more difficult. Fedora and his quarterback have been discussing the topic since the end of the regular season.

If Trubisky enters the draft, the Tar Heels would be left with a lot of inexperience at the quarterback position. Logan Byrd and Chazz Surratt both redshirted during their freshman season, while redshirt freshman Nathan Elliott did not see a lot of action as Trubisky’s backup. Former Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire has been linked to Chapel Hill; as a graduate transfer, he has one season of eligibility remaining and would be able to play immediately should he decide on UNC. But back to Trubisky.

The 6-3, 220-pounder talked about his impending decision at a news conference on Monday. While he did say the process, at times, could be overwhelming, he cited a strong support system as being one of the main reasons he’s able to remain focused on the task at hand: preparing for Stanford.

“I’m definitely not letting [the increased attention] consume me, because it’s just a blessing to be able to have this type of decision,” Trubisky said.

While Trubisky is certainly in an enviable position—return to school and be a top Heisman Trophy contender and a likely very high pick in the 2018 draft, or have a chance to make a healthy living in 2017 on a pro contract—he certainly doesn’t have an easy decision to make. Regardless, he won’t let the matter overwhelm him.

“I’m in this position because of the hard work, and the teammates around me have put me in this type of position. I’m just thankful for how the season has went. But I’m still focused on our last game and just continuing to get as much information as I can and counting on people that have been with me on this journey, especially my family.”

MORE: Christian McCaffrey To Skip Sun Bowl, Ending His College Career