STANFORD (CBS 5 / AP) ― Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck said Thursday that he will stay in school for another year instead of entering the NFL draft.
Luck was widely considered to be the No. 1 pick by the Carolina Panthers if he chose to leave school early. But in making his announcement, Luck said that he wanted to remain at Stanford so he can graduate as scheduled next year.
“I am committed to earning my degree in architectural design from Stanford University and am on track to accomplish this at the completion of the spring quarter of 2012″, said Luck.
Luck led the fifth-ranked Cardinal (12-1) to a school-record 12 wins this season. His decision to return to Stanford comes three days after a masterful performance in the Orange Bowl with a 40-12 victory over Virginia Tech.
Stanford is set to finish the season in the top five of the AP poll for the first time since the unbeaten 1940 team finished No. 2.
Luck’s decision to stay at Stanford comes as a shock to those who assumed he would be the top pick in the NFL Draft — and it leaves Carolina particularly unlucky.
The lone bright spot amid Carolina’s NFL-worst 2-14 season was getting the No. 1 overall draft pick and the chance to take Luck as their potential franchise quarterback.
Luck obviously squashed the Panthers’ dreams with the announcement that he’s staying in school.
Now, the only remaining question for Stanford is whether head coach Jim Harbaugh will also eschew a large payday by returning to the school for another year. That probably won’t happen, as it’s been reported that Harbaugh is receiving giant offers from NFL teams.