Mitch Trubisky’s first year as North Carolina’s starting quarterback will be his last.
The redshirt junior announced Monday that he will forgo his final season of eligibility and enter the 2017 NFL Draft. He revealed the decision in an article for The Players’ Tribune.
Trubisky is the third Tar Heel underclassman to declare for this year’s draft, joining defensive tackle Nazair Jones and running back Elijah Hood. CBS Sports lists Trubisky as the No. 1 draft-eligible quarterback and projects him to go in the first round.
“This has been the most difficult decision of my life because of the unbelievable people and experiences I’ve had at the University of North Carolina,” Trubisky said in a statement released by UNC. “It’s hard to leave a special place like UNC, which has had such a huge impact on my life and helped make me into the man I am today. I’m so thankful for my family, my teammates, coaches, trainers, strength staff, academic staff and all the fans of Tar Heel nation. You guys have helped me in so many ways and have shared experiences with me that I will cherish and be thankful for the rest of my life. I love UNC and it’s a privilege to call myself a Tar Heel.”
“Mitch is a great representative of the University of North Carolina. He’s everything you would want in a student-athlete,” head coach Larry Fedora said. “My role throughout this process was to provide him with as much information as we could obtain so he could make the best decision for him and his family. He patiently waited for his opportunity to play at UNC and when that chance came this year, he had one of best seasons in school history. We support his decision and look forward to watching him play at the next level.”
Trubisky completed 68 percent of his passes in 2016 for 3,748 yards and 30 touchdowns (with six interceptions). His totals for passing yards and touchdowns were both single-season school records. The Mentor, Ohio, product also rushed for 308 yards and five scores.