Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson will return for his senior season

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EVANSTON – Pat Fitzgerald’s hopes to make a run at his first Big Ten title of his tenure got a major boost on Tuesday afternoon.

Quarterback Clayton Thorson, the winningest quarterback in Northwestern history,  announced that he will return for this senior season instead of entering the NFL Draft.

“I want to play another season alongside the guys I’ve battled with for these last three years, and win a Big Ten Championship,” said Thorson in a statement released by the school. “That’s what I came here to do.”

Thorson has been the Wildcats’ starter since 2015 and has led them to 26 wins and three consecutive bowl appearances. In that time the Wheaton native has emerged an NFL prospect, throwing for 7,513 yards with 44 touchdowns compared to 30 interceptions while also rushing for 18 touchdowns.

This season, Thorson completed 60.6 percent of his passes for 2,809 yards with 15 touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions with a career-high eight rushing scores. He helped the Wildcats win their final seven games of the regular season and earn a spot in the Music City Bowl against Kentucky in Nashville on December 29th.