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Mentor's Mitchell Trubisky confident he'll become franchise QB

INDIANAPOLIS -- Mitch Trubisky knew how tall he was (6-foot-2 and some change), so there was no sweating out the measurement that made waves Thursday at the NFL Combine.

And the North Carolina quarterback and Mentor native knows there's nothing that can be changed about the number of starts (13) he amassed at the collegiate level. It's a question, Trubisky said, that's come up more with media members than it has during his numerous meetings with teams throughout the week.

Trubisky's confidence about the decision he made to leave the Tar Heels after one season as a starter was clear when he met with reporters Friday. Trubisky's belief is clear: Whoever selects him in this year's draft is getting a player who believes he can become a face-of-the-franchise quarterback.

"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."

Among the top-ranked quarterbacks in this year's draft class, Trubisky was one of the most efficient and successful in 2016 but is one of the lightest in overall experience. All of his 13 career starts came in 2016, when he spearheaded an 8-5 North Carolina season with 3,748 yards, a 68.2 completion percentage, 30 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He added 308 rushing yards and five touchdowns with mobility he said is one of the most underrated aspects of his game.

It was a consistent, week-by-week performance that looked so good that it's made many wonder why it didn't start sooner.

Trubisky appeared in 30 games over three seasons but ultimately served as Marquise Williams' backup for the first two. He redshirted his first year.

"I think I definitely have enough experience," Trubisky said. "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."

Browns coach Hue Jackson acknowledged Trubisky's small sample size but said it was by no means a dealbreaker.

"At the same time, he still played," Jackson said. "If a guy demonstrates the characteristics that you're looking for, then it's important to keep digging and find out more. But I don't get concerned about that part of it as long as a guy can do what we need him to do."

The former Ohio Mr. Football winner grew up watching the Browns and, when he enrolled at North Carolina, listed his hometown team as the one he'd most want to play for in his official team bio. Now just months away from learning where his NFL career will begin, Trubisky understands his control over the situation is minimal. All he can do is put his best foot forward in his upcoming interviews and on-field opportunities.

"I'm going to be excited wherever I go," Trubisky said. "I have a lot of pride of where I'm from that being my hometown, but no matter what team selects me I'm going to be super excited. I'm going to work as hard possible wherever I go. It's been a dream come true. It's been a dream of mine to play in the NFL since I was a little kid, so whoever picks me, it's going to be a dream come true."

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