The wait is finally over. Marcus Mariota is declaring for the draft, the Hawaii native confirmed.
“After meeting with my family I have decided to forgo my final year of eligibility and apply for the 2015 NFL draft,” Mariota said.
During Mariota’s time at Oregon, he amassed a career record of 36-5 with a total of 136 touchdowns (105 passing, 29 rushing, two receiving) and just 14 interceptions. He became the first Oregon player and Hawaii-born athlete to ever win the Heisman Trophy. He is also the fourth quarterback in FBS history to pass for more than 10,000 yards and run for more than 2,000 in a career.
Mariota has led his team to two Bowl victories: the Fiesta Bowl in the 2012 season and the Alamo Bowl in the 2013 season. In the 2014 season, Mariota led the Ducks to the first ever college football playoff national championship where they lost to the Ohio State Buckeyes by a score of 42-20. It was their second appearance in a national championship game in five years. They lost to the Cam Newton led-Auburn Tigers in the 2011 national championship by a much closer score of 22-19.
Mariota is projected to be the first overall pick in the 2015 draft and land with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers according to ESPN Insider Todd McShay’s Mock Draft. Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich spoke very highly of his pupil.
“It’s been an honor to watch Marcus develop over the last four years, and I’m excited to see what his future holds. He’s given this program everything we could have asked, and he’ll be the standard by which others are judged. Mahalo.”
Mariota expressed his gratitude to his coaches, teammates, the University of Oregon, the city of Eugene, and fans.
”My four years at the University of Oregon have been an awesome experience. I cannot thank Coach Kelly, Coach Helfrich, Coach Frost, the rest of the Oregon coaches and the support staff enough for molding me as a person, player and student-athlete.The support I received from the university, the city of Eugene and Duck fans has been tremendous. I will always remember the great times and support I received. Once a Duck always a Duck. I will miss being with my teammates. Being a part of this team was something special that I will always treasure.”
Even though he didn’t win a national champiosnship, Marcus Mariota experienced one heck of a career at Oregon. As a Bucs fan, I am extremely excited at the thought of him coming to Tampa. We haven’t had a franchise quarterback since....oh who am I kidding? We’ve never had a franchise quarterback. While his weakness lies in the pocket, it actually might not be as bad as people think. Assuming he does come to Tampa, not being a pocket passer could actually be a good thing considering Tampa’s offensive line is horrible and Mariota would get eaten alive if he stayed in the pocket for a certain amount of time. He is a scrambler and can make plays with both his arms and his feet.
That being said, I’m sure Mariota will experience a fine career in the NFL wherever he lands. If he somehow does not have a successful career in the NFL, he’ll go far somewhere else. His attitude, work ethic, and humble approach is second to none.
Good luck Marcus on your future endeavors!
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