EUGENE, Ore. -- That sound you hear is a big sigh of relief from Ducks fans.
Justin Herbert, the University of Oregon's star quarterback and Sheldon High School alum, announced he'll stay in Eugene for his senior year, turning down an almost certain opportunity to play in the NFL.
The announcement was made by the university Wednesday morning.
“The University of Oregon has been a special place to me for as long as I can remember. Words will never be able to express my feelings of gratitude toward the people that have built and maintain our program,” Herbert said. “What I have come to realize, though, is that nothing could pull me away from the opportunities that we have in front of us.”
For fans, the news was like another present under the Christmas tree. Duck fan Chris Ellison said the team will be unstoppable next season with Herbert on the roster.
"It's in the best interest of all duck fans and Justin Herbert to come back for his senior year," Ellison said.
Herbert has thrown for 2,985 yards this season and is tied for 10th nationally with 28 passing touchdowns. He is just 96 yards away from reaching 7,000 career passing yards.
Fan Zach Bigley hopes he doesn't get injured next season, he wants Herbert to go to the NFL at the top of his game.
"Playing an extra season is a big injury risk, but I think it's going to help his stock," Bigley said.
The Ducks face-off against Michigan State next Monday in the Redbox Bowl.