Teddy Bridgewater Talks About Decision To Declare For NFL Draft

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Here's the official U of L press release on Teddy Bridgewater's declaration:

University of Louisville junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has decided to forgo his final year of collegiate eligibility, and make himself available for the 2014 NFL Draft.

"After discussing all the options with my family and the coaching staff, I have decided to forgo my senior season and declare for the NFL Draft," Bridgewater said. "This was an extremely difficult decision for me. I can't express how much my time at Louisville has meant to me. These past three years have allowed me to mature as a person and leave the university as better person and with my degree in hand, which was one of my goals. I will cherish every moment on the field and off the field, and every bond that I built. I will forever represent the university with the utmost pride and respect. I want to extend a special thank you to my teammates, Tom Jurich, all the academic staff and professors, the coaching staff, support staff, students and the Cardinals' fan base.

"I didn't know much about Louisville when I made the decision to attend, but in the end, it was one of the best decisions I could have ever made."

Bridgewater made the decision following an outstanding 2013 season, which was capped by a standout performance in the 2013 Russell Athletic Bowl, where he completed 35-of-45 passes for a career-high 447 yards and three touchdowns.

Bridgewater won 27 games in his three years as the starting quarterback for Louisville, including 12 wins in 2013, which tied a school record. Bridgewater threw for 3,970 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2013, while completing 71 percent of his passes.

In leading the Cardinals to a 12-1 record, Bridgewater developed into one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. He opened the season by tying his career high with five touchdown passes in a 49-7 win over Ohio and four more in wins over Eastern Kentucky and FIU. He recorded seven 300-yard passing games and was a second team All-American Athletic Conference selection this season.

In 39 career games at Louisville, Bridgewater threw for 9,817 yards, which is third most in the UofL annals, while his 72 career touchdown passes also ranks as third best in school history. He completed a school-record 68.3 percent of his passes and had just 24 interceptions in 1,142 career pass attempts.

The Miami, Fla., native was the 2012 BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year and a first team all-league selection after throwing for 3,719 yards and 27 touchdowns in guiding the Cardinals to an 11-2 record and a win over fourth-ranked Florida in the Sugar Bowl. In earning Most Valuable Player accolades in the win over the Gators, Bridgewater went 20-of-32 for 266 yards and two scores in a win over Florida.

The Cardinals have three returning quarterbacks on the roster in redshirt freshman Will Gardner, freshman Kyle Bolin, and junior Brett Nelson.

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