Quarterback Mitch Trubisky started his UNC career as a backup quarterback and has worked his way up to becoming a projected first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
After only one season as a starter for North Carolina, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky decided to forgo his final year of eligibility and declare for the 2017 NFL Draft.
"I think I definitely have enough experience," Trubisky said at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. "I only have 13 starts but I played in 30 games. I've come in off the bench and I've seen significant time. I was prepared really well at North Carolina by coach [Keith] Heckendorf, a really good quarterbacks coach, and I've studied the game. I'm a student of the game and I've seen a lot of defenses, and I think that's going to help me. And just my abilities, I feel like I'm in a really good spot right now to take my game to the next level, and I feel really confident."
Trubisky spent his first two seasons at UNC as backup quarterback to Marquise Williams . Although he was not a starter, Trubisky took the opportunity to prove himself in spot appearances, completing 82-of-125 pass attempts for 1,014 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions between 2014-2015.
"I wasn't given the spot even though I thought I was the better quarterback deep down and I knew I could do the same things if not better and help our team. But it wasn't my call," Trubisky said. "So I just did what I could for the team. I did my job when I was called upon and we won a lot of games with Marquise [Williams]. He was the guy in front of me. It taught me a lot of different things just about life and adversity in general. I mean not everything is going to go your way, especially when you deserve something. So being on the bench taught me how to be a better teammate. I found other ways to get better. I found other ways to push my teammates and be a leader even though you're not in that starting position and I think it's helped build me into the person I am today."
Trubisky's patience payed off, as he experienced a breakout season in 2016 when he took over as the starting quarterback. The 6-foot-2, 222-pound junior completed 68 percent (fifth in the nation) of his passes along with 30 touchdowns to just six interceptions.
Through the first five games of the season, Trubisky passed for 11 touchdowns to zero interceptions, highlighted by a five-touchdown performance in a narrow 37-36 victory over Pittsburgh.
Check out these photos of North Carolina Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
With some impressive film and stats under his belt, Trubisky declared for the draft.
"I just feel like the season I had last year and what I've shown on film and what I'm able to do that I have the tools to be successful in the NFL," Trubisky said. "So I've been really well prepared at North Carolina, and I think my game is ready to take that next step. And I'm very excited throughout this process."
Unlike his first few years at North Carolina, Trubisky is confident that he could fulfill the starting quarterback position for his prospective team.
"Whatever organization selects me, I'm going to go in there and compete," Trubisky said. " I'm going to try to learn the system as fast as possible. You've just got to go in, earn the respect of the guys around you and pick it up as fast as possible. You want to show that you can play from day one but it's going to be up to the coaches when they're going to put you in and hopefully they do what's best for you and what's best for the team."
Trubisky has most certainly demonstrated his ability to play quarterback at college level and considering his position as a first-round prospect, experts believe he can deliver in the NFL as well. Trubisky also believes his talent and believes he also has the potential to become a future franchise cornerstone.
"I'm confident in who I am and I'm confident that I can be a franchise quarterback at the next level," Trubisky said. "So I'm just trying to portray that to them and be myself. I feel like I can be that guy, I'm going to carry myself the right way, on and off the field and I'm just going to go in there and try to earn the respect of everyone I surround myself with. And whoever's around me I'm going to try to make them better as a player and person on and off the field.