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2015 NFL DRAFT

Marcus Mariota, QB

School: Oregon  |  Conference: PAC12
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Honolulu, HI
Height/Weight: 6-4 / 215 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
111
Player News
08/18/2014 - Oregon now paying for injury insurance for Marcus Mariota, others...Earlier this week, CBSSports.com's Jeremy Fowler reported that unlike a handful of other FBS schools -- including Florida State and Jameis Winston -- Oregon was not paying for Marcus Mariota's injury protection insurance, or three other Ducks' similar policies. Oregon announced Friday that that has changed. "The families of quarterback Marcus Mariota, center Hroniss Grasu, cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and defensive end Arik Armstead purchased policies this past offseason under the NCAA's 'exceptional student-athlete disability insurance' rule," the Ducks football program said in a statement. "The athletic department will reimburse them for out-of-pocket expenses related to the policies, after Texas A&M and Florida State took the previously unprecedented step of doing so for football players earlier this year."

The Ducks explained the prior lack of such reimbursements by saying they "had been operating with the understanding that paying insurance premiums would violate NCAA rules, based on previous inquiries" -- and that after seeing Florida State and Texas A&M take that step, they asked for permission from the Pac-12 and received it. The premiums will be paid through the school's NCAA-governed Student Assistance Fund. Oregon senior associate athletic director Craig Pintens previously told CBSSports.com that spending the money to cover the football players' and others' insurance premiums would deplete the Fund beyond the point where it could assist student-athletes with other issues, such as emergency dental work or trips for funerals. - Jerry Hinnen, CBSSports.com

08/07/2014 - OREGON is the favorite to win the 2014 Pac-12 Conference football title in a preseason poll of media members who cover the league. The Ducks were listed in the top spot of the North Division by 37 of 39 voters participating in the poll, collecting 232 points. Twenty-four of the pollsters picked Oregon to come out on top in the Pac-12 Championship game. UCLA received the second most Champion votes with 13 pollsters picking the Bruins to win the Pac-12 Championship game. The Bruins were the top choice for the South Division by 37 of 39 voters participating, collecting 231 points.

2013 North Division winner STANFORD was picked to finish second in the North Division, collecting 192 points. USC was picked to finish second in the South Division after tallying 181 points, just ahead of reigning South Division winner ARIZONA STATE, who tallied 163 points and was predicted to finish third. The media poll has correctly selected the Conference Champion in 28 of 53 previous polls, including 11 of the last 14. - Pac-12 football

08/04/2014 - 2014 PRESEASON MAXWELL AWARD WATCH LIST: Marcus Mariota, Oregon, Quarterback, Junior...One of the most prolific quarterbacks in school history enters his junior year already owning the program's career record for most rushing yards by an Oregon quarterback (1,467), the highest career completion percentage (.658), and has tied Joey Harrington's school standard for most total offense TDs (77)...The Hawaii native also ranks second in career touchdown passes (63) and fourth on the school's all-time list for total offense (7,809 yards). - Oregon football

08/02/2014 - 2014 PRESEASON WALTER CAMP AWARD WATCH LIST: QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon...The All-America candidate and Manning Award finalist was named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award (college player of the year), the Davey O'Brien Award (national quarterback award) and the Walter Camp Award (most outstanding player) in 2013...The first player in school history to eclipse 4,000 yards of total offense in a single season (4,380) was one of three league players to surpass the previous Pac-12 season record in 2013...In addition, he set school records for most points responsible for, completions (245) and most total touchdowns (40), as well as finished second on the single-season passing yards ledger (3,665). - Oregon football

08/02/2014 - 2014 PRESEASON JOHNNY UNITAS GOLDEN ARM AWARD WATCH LIST: Marcus Mariota, Oregon...Oregon's first two-time first-team all-conference quarterback in 27 years claimed a share of Oregon's Most Outstanding Player honors for a second year in a row while also being named the program's Most Inspirational Player in a vote of his teammates in 2013...The Ducks' second-leading rusher fell 3 yards shy of equaling the school record for most yards on the ground by a quarterback in one season, running 96 times for 715 yards and nine TDs...Broke Pac-12 and Oregon pinnacles for consecutive pass attempts without an interception in both a single season (285) and a career (327). - Oregon football

08/01/2014 - 2014 PRESEASON DAVEY O'BRIEN AWARD WATCH LIST: Marcus Mariota (Oregon, Junior)...Mariota is one of six returning semifinalists along with 2013 winner Jameis Winston of Florida State, Brett Hundley of UCLA, Sean Mannion of Oregon State, Braxton Miller of Ohio State and Bryce Petty of Baylor. Mariota completed 245-of-286 passes for 3,665 yards and 31 touchdowns with four interceptions. He ran for 715 yards despite being limited by the knee injury throughout November, giving him a school-record 4,380 yards of total offense for the season. - Oregon football

06/20/2014 - Oregon's top NFL Draft-eligible prospects to watch in 2014: 1. QB Marcus Mariota, RS Junior...Boasting a combination of size, speed and passing ability that has often earned comparisons to San Francisco's star quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Mariota enters his fourth season in Eugene as a Heisman Trophy favorite and arguably the elite NFL prospect in the country. He is my personal top-rated prospect entering the 2014 season. Perhaps surprisingly, Mariota turned down the chance to be a top five pick a year ago. Few prospects are willing to put off the glamor and riches of an NFL deal but Mariota will likely be better off with this decision as another season at the collegiate level gives him time to polish his game. He is blessed with extraordinary tools and his production thus far has been outstanding (63 touchdowns/10 interceptions at a 65.8 percent completion rate and another 1,467 yards on the ground with 14 scores over the past two years), but after only emerging as a starter as a senior in high school, Mariota remains very much a work in progress. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

06/20/2014 - Oregon's top NFL Draft-eligible prospects to watch in 2014: 1. QB Marcus Mariota, RS Junior...The Ducks' innovative offense simplifies QB decisions and this is roughly the same scheme Mariota played in high school. As such, some of the basics like taking the ball from under center and scanning downfield while dropping back are skills Mariota hasn't been asked to master yet. He's overly reliant (at this point) on his first read, occasionally commits the cardinal sin of throwing late across his body and wasn't a year ago when injury sapped him off his maneuverability and he was forced to throw from the pocket. These are coachable skills and given that Mariota is often lauded for his intelligence, humility and work ethic, scouts expect growth in these areas in 2014.

Mariota has a quick release and flashes deadly accuracy, including when on the move. He has a very strong arm and isn't afraid to make challenging throws through tight windows. He also shows good touch to loft passes over defenders down the seam or to backs and receivers on quick swing passes. He has good balance and agility to avoid pressure and keeps his eyes downfield rather than looking for an excuse to run. Like Kaepernick, Mariota puts extreme pressure on the defense because of his scrambling ability. He offers rare straight-line speed, making him a legitimate threat for a big play via his arms or legs on every snap. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

06/05/2014 - ROB RANG'S MAY 15, 2014 TOP 32 BIG BOARD: 1. Marcus Mariota, QB, 6-4, 212, rJr., Oregon: Say what you will about Jadeveon Clowney's elite talent, if Mariota had entered the 2014 draft he would have been the first overall pick. The Hawaii native is that kind of talent. Mariota has gained 20 pounds of muscle since signing with the Ducks, adding to his arm strength and retaining his remarkable speed. He's further along as a passer already than the player he's often compared to (San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick), and is only going to get better. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

12/30/2013 - Quarterback Marcus Mariota had 386 total yards and No. 10 Oregon returned two interceptions for touchdowns, spoiling Texas coach Mack Brown's farewell with a runaway 30-7 victory in the Alamo Bowl on Monday night. The BCS-snubbed Ducks (11-2) dominated throughout even though their famously high-powered offense scored just one touchdown, when Josh Huff turned a short pass from Mariota into a spectacular 16-yard sprint to the end zone. Brown received warm goodbyes from a sellout crowd in what was practically a home game for Texas (8-5). Even the school marching band spelled his name at halftime.

But the blowout was a final reminder of why Brown is resigning after 16 seasons at Texas, which he led to a national championship in 2005 but couldn't reverse a sharp decline in recent years. Walking off the field for the last time, Brown flashed the "Hook 'em Horns" hand signal to the scattered remaining Texas fans who stuck around to the end of another humbling loss this season. Mariota led all rushers with 133 yards on 15 carries, making sure Oregon eased the sting of not playing in a BCS bowl for the first time in five years. He was 18 of 26 for 253 yards passing in his Heisman Trophy campaign tuneup for 2014, having announced earlier this month that he was coming back for his junior season. - AP Sports

12/30/2013 - Nick Aliotti's retirement party went better than the one for Mack Brown as 10th-ranked Oregon defeated Texas 30-7 Monday night in the Alamo Bowl. The Ducks stifled Texas' offense behind a defensive game plan devised by Aliotti, Oregon's longtime defensive coordinator who announced he would end his 37-year coaching career after the game. The Ducks even scored twice on defense to outscore the Texas offense. Oregon's win ruined the finale for Brown, who resigned after 16 seasons as head coach.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota got rid of the knee brace that slowed him down during the second half of the season and compiled 386 yards of total offense for the Ducks. He ran 15 times for 133 yards and completed 18-of-26 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Josh Huff set Oregon's single-season record for receiving yards after catching five passes for 104 yards and a touchdown. Mariota threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Huff just before halftime to put Oregon ahead 20-7 at the break. - The Sports Xchange

12/19/2013 - Mariota confirms he will return to Oregon...Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota confirmed he intends to return to the team for at least one more season after it was learned he had requested his grade from the NFL Advisory Committee. Oregon's senior associate athletic director, Craig Pintens, said Mariota requested the grade following the Ducks' victory over Oregon State on Nov. 29. Mariota told 750 The Game radio in Portland, "To clear any confusion, I'm very blessed and thankful to come back." The standout redshirt sophomore quarterback announced on Dec. 3 that he intended to return to the Ducks in 2013, but NFLDraftScout.com confirmed Wednesday that he had requested his evaluative grade from the Advisory Committee.

Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare for the NFL Draft, and the Advisory Board is a free evaluative service regularly utilized by underclassmen to gauge where they may be drafted before making the decision to forgo eligibility. Mariota issued his statement intending to return to school without actually learning of his grade, which is expected to be a top 15 designation.

The strong-armed, highly athletic Mariota boasts a more exciting skill-set than any other quarterback potentially available in 2014, including Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated quarterback at this time. While Fresno State senior Derek Carr and Texas A&M redshirt sophomore Johnny Manziel - who has not stated his intentions yet - are also rated as top 12 prospects, Mariota was regularly among NFLDraftScout.com's top five eligible prospects for 2014 before announcing he would return to school. "Why wouldn't he want to look into (coming out this year)?" an NFL source told NFLDraftScout.com on the condition on anonymity. "(Mariota) could be the first quarterback drafted this year. That may not happen next year." - The Sports Xchange

12/03/2013 - Mariota returning to Oregon; will UCLA's Hundley follow suit?...Two of Oregon's top underclassmen announced Tuesday that they will be returning to Eugene for another season of college football. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota and redshirt junior center Hronnis Grassu made the joint announcement through the university. Mariota, a two-time All-Pac-12 pick after each of his two starting seasons with the Ducks, was viewed as a potential first-round pick. He completed 227 of 360 passes (63.1 percent) for 3,412 yards and 30 touchdowns as a sophomore, with his 3,994 yards of total offense setting a single-season school record.

Grassu, also recognized as an all-conference center for the second consecutive year, was regarded as one of the nation's best center prospects and a potential day two draft selection. Each possesses remarkable athleticism for their respective positions but struggled in high-profile matchups against physical opponents, most notably the Stanford Cardinal. After starring early in the year, Mariota, in particular, struggled down the stretch as a nagging knee injury robbed him of his mobility and exposed his inconsistent accuracy.

Mariota's decision could have a ripple effect on other underclassmen quarterbacks considering an early jump to the NFL. Fellow redshirt sophomore quarterbacks Brett Hundley (UCLA) and Kevin Hogan (Stanford) are also highly regarded in the scouting community. When put on the spot on national television by head coach Jim Mora following the Bruins' impressive win over USC last weekend, Hundley refused to commit to returning for another season at the collegiate level. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

12/03/2013 - Mariota and Grasu Returning to Ducks in 2014...Quarterback Marcus Mariota and center Hroniss Grasu will return to the University of Oregon for the 2014 season. Mariota, a redshirt sophomore from Honolulu, and Grasu, a redshirt junior from Los Angeles, announced their intentions a day after earning all-Pac-12 accolades from the conference's head coaches for the second straight year. "It is an honor to be a student at the University of Oregon and to have the opportunity to represent our institution on the football field alongside my teammates," said Mariota. "I look forward to earning my degree next year and to the rest of my career at this great University."

Mariota, who has claimed a share of Oregon's Most Outstanding Player honors in each of his first two seasons, completed 227 of 360 passes (63.1%) for 3,412 yards and 30 touchdowns as a sophomore, with his 3,994 yards of total offense setting a single-season school record. The 2012 Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, Mariota has started all 25 games for the Ducks in his two seasons and is currently the conference's career leader in pass efficiency rating at 165.67. He is the only quarterback from a BCS AQ conference team to pass for at least 30 touchdowns the past two years and his current streak of 25 straight games with at least one touchdown pass is the third-longest in the nation. - Oregon football

12/03/2013 - 2013 ALL-PAC-12 FIRST TEAM (COACHES): QB Marcus Mariota, So., Oregon (2)...Mariota, who has claimed a share of Oregon's Most Outstanding Player honors in each of his first two seasons, completed 227 of 360 passes (631%) for 3,412 yards and 30 touchdowns as a sophomore, with his 3,994 yards of total offense setting a single-season school record. The mark surpassed Akili Smith's previous record of 3,947 yards accumulated in 1998.

The Honolulu, Hawaii native's 2013 output also ranks second on the school's single-season passing yards list as he ranks sixth in the country in passing efficiency, tied for sixth in total points responsible for (234) and ninth nationally in touchdown passes. - Oregon football

11/29/2013 - Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Josh Huff with 29 seconds remaining as the No. 12 Ducks survived a scare to defeat the Oregon State Beavers 36-35 on Saturday night at Autzen Stadium. The Ducks trailed 35-30 in the final two minutes before rallying to beat the Beavers for the sixth straight season. Oregon kept alive its slim hopes of reaching a BCS bowl by finishing the regular season at 10-2, including a 7-2 mark in Pac-12 play. Oregon State took a 35-30 lead when receiver Victor Bolden ran 25 yards for a touchdown with 1:38 remaining.

The Ducks used nine plays to drive 83 yards for the answer before Mariota found Huff in the end zone for the game-winning pass. Huff had nine catches for 186 yards and three touchdowns while Mariota threw for 285 yards and three scores. Oregon went ahead 30-29 when Mariota threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Huff with 7:56 left in the game. The Ducks went for a two-point conversion, but Mariota threw an incomplete pass. Oregon State went into the lead earlier in the quarter at 29-24 lead when Beavers quarterback Sean Mannion threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to receiver Tyler Anderson with 11:05 remaining in the game. - The Sports Xchange

11/21/2013 - WEEK 12 COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARS: Marcus Mariota, Oregon, threw for 288 yards and three TDs to help the sixth-ranked Ducks rebound from last week's loss to Stanford with a 44-21 victory over Utah. - AP Sports

11/16/2013 - Marcus Mariota is more concerned about his Oregon teammates than he is about his knee. ''They would have to pull me off the field before I wouldn't play,'' the sophomore quarterback said after throwing for 288 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-21 victory over Utah on Saturday. Questions remain about the health of Mariota's left knee, which limited his mobility last week when the sixth-ranked Ducks fell 26-20 to Stanford. Oregon does not discuss injuries, so it's something of a mystery.

Known for his scrambling ability, Mariota wore a knee brace against both the Cardinal and the Utes and finished both games with negative yardage on the ground. Utah sacked him three times, but any shortcomings didn't matter in the end against the Utes. Even with the threat of making the injury worse, Mariota says he's still playing for his team. It was important to him that the Ducks rebound decisively from the loss to Stanford - which in all likelihood ended Oregon's shot at a spot in the national championship game. ''The guys in the locker room mean the world to me,'' he said. And as for the knee? ''I've learned to play with it. I'm not going to use it as an excuse,'' he said. - AP Sports

11/12/2013 - Marcus Mariota insists his left knee isn't a concern and that he'll be ready to go Saturday when No. 6 Oregon hosts Utah. There are lingering questions about how much the mysterious knee injury contributed to the Ducks' loss at Stanford last Thursday. Oregon doesn't discuss injuries, and the sophomore quarterback hasn't been specific about what's going on. Asked this week whether his knee is an issue, Mariota replied: "Not at all." Pressed whether he is 100 percent, he said: "That's something that I can't tell you."

Mariota remains a Heisman Trophy hopeful with a stellar season thus far. He's completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 22 touchdowns with no interceptions. And he's ranked second on the team with 495 yards rushing with nine additional TDs. He has gone 327 attempts without an interception, an ongoing Pac-12 record that dates to last year. But against the Cardinal, it became apparent that Mariota's mobility was hampered. He passed for 250 yards and two TDs. Three of his six rushes were sacks, putting him in negative yardage on the ground. Oregon (8-1, 5-1 Pac-12) lost 26-20. "My knee is what it is. I'm not going to use that as an excuse," he told reporters after practice.

Mariota is believed to have injured his knee in the Ducks' 42-14 victory over UCLA, and he played the second half with a brace. He wore a brace throughout the game at Stanford. He was practicing this week with the first team, again wearing a brace. Backup Jeff Lockie worked out with the second team. He said, "Yes, for sure," when asked whether he'd play against the Utes (4-5, 1-5). - AP Sports

11/09/2013 - Oregon's Mariota has MCL injury...Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has a partially torn MCL in his left knee, according to television station KVAL in Eugene. Mariota was wearing a brace over the knee during the Ducks' 26-20 loss to host Stanford on Thursday night. Mariota, who is a Heisman Trophy contender, completed 20 of 34 passes for 250 yards with two fourth-quarter touchdowns. He acknowledged that his knee was a "little banged up."

He appeared limited in running the ball. He came into the game with 56 rushes for 511 yards but had three carries and was sacked three times for a total of minus-16 rushing yards, including a costly sack and fumble in the second half. Mariota was helped off the field with what looked like a left knee injury but later returned. "I tend to just not focus on the pain because you've got to play with it," he said after game, when asked how much pain he was in." - The Sports Xchange

10/23/2013 - Jim Mora lauds Oregon's Marcus Mariota...Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is currently one of the favorites to win this year's Heisman Trophy, and for good reason. He's having a fantastic season at the most important position on the football field for a very good team. And one of Mariota's biggest fans seems to be the coach of the team he'll be looking to beat this weekend, UCLA's Jim Mora. I think it's safe to say that if there were a Marcus Mariota Fan Club, Mora would join. "I had a couple NFL guys ask me if he can play at the next level and I told them, 'Have you not watched him?'" Mora told the Los Angeles Times. "He's going to rip it up at the next level. He's ripping it up at this level. He's special.

"You watch his facial expressions, he never looks rattled. He's 6 feet 3 1/2, has a rocket arm, incredible intelligence, great poise, runs a 4.4, has a fearless attitude. It doesn't matter what system he's in, he'd be great." It's hard to argue with Mora's assessment considering that so far this season Mariota has thrown for 2,051 yards, 19 touchdowns and no interceptions. He's also rushed for another another 493 yards and nine touchdowns. Impressive numbers on their own, but even more impressive when you realize he's usually not playing an entire game since the Ducks are blowing out opponents. - Tom Fornelli, CBSSports.com

10/21/2013 - WEEK 8 COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARS: Marcus Mariota, Oregon, threw for 327 yards and two touchdowns and had a 57-yard scoring run in No. 2 Oregon's 62-38 victory over Washington State. - AP Sports

10/20/2013 - Marcus Mariota threw for 327 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another as No. 2 Oregon overcame the prolific passing of Connor Halliday for a 62-38 victory over Washington State on Saturday night. Mariota kicked things off with a 57-yard scoring dash on the first series of the game for the Ducks, who wore pink helmets, cleats and socks for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Byron Marshall ran for 192 yards and three touchdowns for Oregon (7-0, 4-0 Pac-12).

Halliday completed 58 of 89 passes for 557 yards and four touchdowns for the Cougars (4-4, 2-3). His attempts broke the FBS-level record of 83 set by Drew Brees of Purdue on Oct. 10, 1998. His total attempts and completions also broke the Pac-12 records set by Arizona's Matt Scott last season, and his total yards set a Washington State record. But Halliday also threw four interceptions, including one that was returned 51 yards for a touchdown by Terrance Mitchell early in the fourth quarter. The junior leads the nation with 18 interceptions. Mariota had his first two turnovers of the season, two fumbles that led to first-half Washington State touchdowns, and the Cougars came within 27-21 in the second quarter. - AP Sports

10/20/2013 - Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota boosted his Heisman Trophy hopes and the Ducks continued their quest to reach the BCS National Championship game. Mariota was 23-for-32 for 327 yards and two touchdowns to lead the second-ranked Ducks to a 62-38 win over Washington State on Saturday night in Pac-12 Conference football at Autzen Stadium.

Mariota also ran for 67 yards and a touchdown, giving him nine straight games with a rushing and passing touchdown. The sophomore has thrown a touchdown pass in all 20 career games, boosting Oregon's record to 19-1 in his two seasons as the starter. The Ducks improved to 7-0 and 4-0 in the conference as they await the first BCS standings of the season to be released on Sunday. - The Sports Xchange

10/17/2013 - One of the most notable numbers in Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota's stat line is 0. That's the number of interceptions he has thrown in the first half of the season. The sophomore who has become a top contender for the Heisman Trophy hasn't had an interception in 233 attempts dating to last year, an ongoing Pac-12 record. Overall, Mariota has completed 100 passes for 1,724 yards and 17 touchdowns for second-ranked Oregon this season. He also has run for 426 yards and eight more TDs. Coach Mark Helfrich joked when asked if he remembered the last time Mariota threw a pick. "Um, I don't know. I don't off the top of my head," he told reporters, then added: "There was one in practice today." "Marcus does a great job - good, bad or indifferent - of just kind of moving on and playing the next play," Helfrich said.

For the record, Mariota's last interception came in then-No. 1 Oregon's 17-14 loss to Stanford last Nov. 17 that dashed the Ducks' hopes for a shot at the BCS title game. The streak of 233 attempts topped USC's Brad Otton's string of 216 in 1994-95. This season the mobile 6-foot-4 quarterback from Hawaii is averaging 287.3 yards passing a game and 71 yards rushing - for 10.4 yards per carry. He's ranked sixth nationally with an average of 358.3 yards in total offense a game, and No. 5 in passing efficiency at 182.40. He has scored at least one touchdown via both the run and the pass in every game this season. - AP Sports

10/15/2013 - 2014 NFL DRAFT: WEEK 7 STOCK REPORT, PROSPECTS WHO HELPED THEMSELVES THIS WEEKEND: QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon...As the No. 2 overall quarterback prospect in college football according to NFLDraftScout.com, Mariota already has high expectations on his shoulders. But great NFL prospects exceed those expectations and that's what the Oregon redshirt sophomore continues to do as the Ducks roll through their schedule this season. Against Washington on Saturday, Mariota was brilliant and his stats reflect it, finishing 24-for-31 (78.4%) for 366 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions.

The Huskies, who entered the game ranked No. 10 in the country in total defense, kept the game close until the fourth quarter thanks to the quarterback-running back tandem of Keith Price-Bishop Sankey. But Mariota made too many crucial plays, showcasing terrific field awareness, arm talent and composure to stay calm, cool and collected in every situation that was thrown at him. Through the first half of the 2013 college football season, the Heisman Trophy is Mariota's to lose and he definitely looks capable of challenging Teddy Bridgewater for that No. 1 overall pick if he decides to go pro and enter the 2014 NFL Draft. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

10/15/2013 - NFL Draft prospects: Mariota answers questions vs. Washington...While Oregon went into halftime with a seemingly comfortable 21-7 lead, this game was tighter than the score indicated. The Ducks' first touchdown came on a controversial fourth-and-1 plunge from running back Byron Marshall. The sophomore was ruled to have scored but replays seemed to show that he was stopped short. The replay was not definitive, however, and Washington proved their own worst enemy, at times, turning the ball over twice.

With the Pac-12's leading rusher Bishop Sankey turning a fourth and 1 into a 60-yard touchdown to jump start Washington on their first drive of the second half, the pressure was on Mariota to respond -- precisely what scouts wanted.

One of the few questions pro talent evaluators still have about Mariota is whether he possesses the poise so critical to NFL success. With Oregon regularly scorching opponents, Mariota rarely has to take meaningful second-half snaps. In this game he did and the young signal-caller responded beautifully, lofting a beautiful deep ball to senior wideout Josh Huff for a 65-yard touchdown seconds after Sankey's run gave the Huskies' crowd reason to bark. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

10/15/2013 - WEEK 7 COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE AWARDS NATIONAL FBS OFFENSIVE PERFORMER OF THE WEEK: Marcus Mariota (Oregon)...Mariota was named conference offensive player of the week for the second straight week, the first Pac-12 player to do so since kick returner Reggie Dunn of Utah and running back Johnathan Franklin of UCLA last season. The last Oregon player to be named conference player of the week in consecutive weeks was placekicker Paul Martinez in 2005. Mariota accounted for 10 touchdowns in those two games, wins over Colorado and the Huskies. He was 24-of-31 for 366 yards and three touchdowns in Seattle, and ran for 88 yards and a score.

On the season, Mariota has accounted for 25 touchdowns with no turnovers. He's fifth nationally in passer efficiency with a 182.40 rating, and sixth in total offense with 358.30 yards per game - despite having played in the fourth quarter just once in six games, against Washington. - Oregon football/College Football Performance Awards

10/15/2013 - NFL Draft prospects: Mariota answers questions vs. Washington...The 6-foot-4, 212-pound Mariota is the physical prototype for today's up-tempo offenses. Possessing a combination of agility, straight line speed and a rocket of a right arm, Mariota has earned comparisons from scouts to San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick. Frankly, the Oregon signal-caller is further along than Kaepernick was at a similar point in his collegiate career at Nevada. Unlike Kaepernick, whose baseball-like delivery played a role in his lasting until the second round, Mariota is technically sound.

He has an efficient set-up, setting his feet quickly, keeping his shoulders square and delivering the ball with a tight, over-the-top release. Best of all, the football simply explodes out of Mariota's hand. There is no denying that Mariota -- like previous Oregon quarterbacks -- is significantly aided by the Ducks' spread offense. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

10/15/2013 - You're going to hear -- and read -- a ton about Marcus Mariota over the next week. We're at the midway point of the season and it's that time where the media likes to reflect on the past seven weeks, and the sophomore QB is coming off a dazzling show on the road against No. 16 Washington (now No. 20) that left folks gushing. A veteran football coach I know who has been in the game for four decades marveled at what he saw from Mariota on Saturday, texting me, "Ever seen a QB who could run and throw like Mariota? I haven't." My first thought was Cam Newton. I thought he was superman for college football.

Still, I am curious to see how well Mariota and the Ducks' offense keeps playing as the schedule stiffens. They have a double of UCLA (Oct. 26) and Stanford (Nov. 7) coming up. "I haven't been around that long but Marcus Mariota's "as good of a quarterback as I've ever been involved with," Washington defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox told reporters after the game. "... He's one of the top two, three fastest guys on the field, he makes extremely good decisions and he's an accurate passer. Special guy." - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com

10/15/2013 - NFL Draft prospects: Mariota answers questions vs. Washington...Marcus Mariota has the skills of Colin Kaepernick with a more refined delivery....With explosive running back De'Anthony Thomas sidelined because of an ankle injury and tight end Colt Lyerla abruptly quitting the team last weekend, there was more pressure on quarterback Marcus Mariota in Saturday's Pac-12 showdown with rival Washington than perhaps any other game in the redshirt sophomore's young career. Consider it a challenge accepted, and in dominating fashion. While Mariota's statistics weren't as impressive in Saturday's 45-24 over the Huskies as they have been in many of his prior 18 games, this was the type of performance that might be more valued by NFL scouts than Heisman voters.

Tuning out a passionate crowd and facing an athletic and physical defense that boasts several NFL prospects of their own, Mariota completed 24 of 31 passes for 366 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. He rushed for another 88 yards and a score. Just more of what we've seen from Mariota and the explosive Ducks offense, right? Not quite. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

10/15/2013 - NFL Draft prospects: Mariota answers questions vs. Washington...Creative scheming and the Ducks' talent at the skill positions routinely leaves Mariota wide-open receivers from which to choose from. As such, scouts are left to largely ignore his 68.5 completion percentage and instead appreciate Mariota's uncommon ball-placement, which gives his targets the opportunity to run after the catch. "Run" is often the operative word with Mariota. His ability to buy time in the pocket and scramble makes him virtually unstoppable when he decides to tuck the ball.

He was especially willing to do as the game tightened, demonstrating his unique vision and acceleration for the position in gaining 35 yards on the last play of the third quarter and 5 yards for a touchdown to give Oregon a 38-24 lead early in the final stanza. Players rarely make the NFL jump with two years of collegiate eligibility and it is even more historic when it comes at the quarterback position. Should Mariota and the Ducks continue their dream season with a national championship, however, he could have quite a decision to make in January. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

10/15/2013 - WEEK 7 COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARS: Marcus Mariota, Oregon, threw for 366 yards and three TDs, added another 88 yards and one TD rushing, and the second-ranked Ducks won their 10th straight over their rivals to the north with a 45-24 victory over No. 16 Washington. - AP Sports

10/15/2013 - We've got two "Wow" stats to underscore Mariota's exploits. This season, he's thrown 17 TDs and run for eight more and has thrown zero INTs. The second: Courtesy of Ducks SID Andy McNamara: Other QBs facing Washington's defense threw two TDs and seven picks. Mariota's statline: 3-0. Then again, this stat also touches on my "Body Blow Theory" about teams coming off a physical opponent like facing Stanford and then having to get up to speed for Oregon's frenetic pace.

The Ducks, by the way, opened as 37.5-point favorite against visiting Washington State next Saturday. The Cougars are coming off a epic fourth-quarter meltdown against Oregon State, but are also 4-3 with two Pac-12 road wins, but that huge spread shows you the perceived gulf between Oregon and an average conference opponent. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com

10/14/2013 - WEEK 7 PAC-12 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, a sophomore from Honolulu, Hawai'i, completed 24 of 31 passes for 366 yards and three touchdowns and ran for an additional 88 yards and another score in Oregon's 45-24 victory at No. 16 Washington on Saturday. He countered four Husky scoring drives by leading the Ducks to scores on three occasions and his rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter secured the win to keep No. 2 Oregon unbeaten at 6-0. He has accounted for 25 touchdowns and zero turnovers on the year, helping Oregon to a No. 2 national ranking in total offense (630.50 ypg).

Mariota is fifth in the country in passing efficiency (182.40 QB rating) and sixth in total offense (358.30 ypg). He is the second Pac-12 multi-week winner of 2013 and the first to earn the honor in consecutive weeks. Also nominated for offensive player of the week honors were quarterbacks Sean Mannion of OREGON STATE and Brett Hundley of UCLA; running backs Marion Grice of ARIZONA STATE and Bubba Poole of Utah; and wide receiver Nelson Agholor of USC. - Pac-12 football

10/12/2013 - Second-ranked Oregon passed its first serious test. The Ducks were in a close game during the fourth quarter for the first time all season before turning back No. 16 Washington, 45-24, on Saturday in Pac-12 game at Husky Stadium. It was Oregon's 10th straight victory over its rival to the north. "It feels great," Oregon senior defensive lineman Taylor Hart said. "It was an exciting game. I can say I never lost to Washington in my career. That was a lot of fun today."

Oregon's lead was down to 31-24 in the fourth quarter before quarterback Marcus Mariota ran for a touchdown and threw a scoring pass to help the Ducks put away from the Huskies and improve to 6-0 overall, 3-0 in the conference. After winning its first five games by an average of 48 points, Oregon had a tougher time against its first ranked opponent of the season. "We responded really well," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. "The resolve of our team is special. The people that we have on this team are special. If we are up by some number or down by some number, it doesn't matter."

Mariota completed 24-for-31 passes for 366 yards and three touchdowns, while running for 88 yards and a touchdown to strengthen his Heisman Trophy chances. "He's at the top of the Heisman list for a reason," Oregon senior receiver Josh Huff said. "He was excellent." Byron Marshall ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns for the Ducks, while Bralon Addison had 157 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Oregon had 631 yards of total offense. - The Sports Xchange

10/08/2013 - I spoke with a NFC personnel executive last week about the potential of the 2014 quarterback class and to say he "gushed" might be an understatement. His smile seemed to grow with every quarterback we discussed, including Oregon's Marcus Mariota who might have garnered the greatest grin. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

10/08/2013 - WEEK 6 COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARS: Marcus Mariota, Oregon, threw five TD passes and ran for two scores as the No. 2 Ducks rolled to a 57-16 victory over Colorado. - AP Sports

10/07/2013 - WEEK 6 PAC-12 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, a sophomore from Honolulu, Hawai'i, set a school record with 42 points accounted for in Oregon's 57-16 win at Colorado on Saturday. He completed 16 of 27 passes for 355 yards and five touchdowns. Mariota also ran for an additional 43 yards and two more scores. He is eighth in the country in passing efficiency (176.30 QB rating) and ninth in total offense (339.20 ypg), helping Oregon to a No. 2 national ranking in total offense (630.40 ypg). Also nominated for offensive player of the week honors were quarterbacks Brett Hundley of UCLA and Connor Halliday of WASHINGTON STATE; and wide receivers Jaelen Strong of ARIZONA STATE, Chris Harper of CALIFORNIA, and Dres Anderson of UTAH. - Pac-12 football

10/05/2013 - Marcus Mariota threw for five touchdowns and ran for two scores, and second-ranked Oregon rolled to its 17th consecutive road victory by beating Colorado 57-16 Saturday at Folsom Field. Josh Huff and Bralon Addison each had two touchdown receptions and cornerback Terrance Mitchell had a pair of interceptions leading to two scores for Oregon (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12). Byron Marshall addred 120 yards rushing on 23 carries.

The Ducks, also the country's second-ranked team in scoring, surpassed 50 points in their fifth straight game to open the season, a first for the school. Mariota completed 16 of 27 for 355 yards passing in just under three quarters of play before being relieved by understudies Jeff Lockie and Jake Rodrigues. Mariota also ran for 43 yards, including scoring runs of 1 and 2 yards. - The Sports Xchange

10/01/2013 - If you like your football fast-paced, No. 2 Oregon is always the team for you. But this Saturday's game with California could be especially fun. According to research done by SB Nation's Football Study Hall, Oregon is running a play every 18.6 seconds, third fastest in the nation. California, with new coach Sonny Dykes, is next at a play every 18.8 seconds. Plan your bathroom breaks accordingly. - AP Sports

09/29/2013 - Even a driving rain couldn't rattle Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. Mariota threw for two touchdowns and ran for another and No. 2 Oregon defeated California 55-16 on Saturday night in a drenched Pac-12 opener for both teams. "I've been playing in the rain since I was a little kid. Hawaii has its passing showers," the sophomore quarterback said. "So it really doesn't bother me."

Bralon Addison returned two punts for touchdowns and Byron Marshall ran for 130 yards and two more scores for the Ducks (4-0, 1-0). The game was played as a strong storm swept across the Pacific Northwest, cutting power to more than 26,500 customers in Oregon. It was a sloppy mess on the field, with eight fumbles - four for each team - in the first half alone. The Ducks handled the soggy conditions better, building a 41-3 halftime lead. The wind and rain all but shut down the "Bear Raid" offense that new head coach Sonny Dykes has installed at Cal (1-3, 0-1).

Cal freshman quarterback Jared Goff went into the game as the national leader with an average of 435.3 yards passing a game. He completed just 3 of 6 passes for 11 yards in the first quarter before he was replaced with backup Zach Kline. Goff, making his first start on the road, simply couldn't grip the ball. - AP Sports

09/16/2013 - WEEK 3 COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARS: Marcus Mariota, Oregon, threw for a career-high 456 yards and four TDs and the No. 2 Ducks handed Tennessee its first loss of the season, 59-14. - AP Sports

09/16/2013 - Oregon is a legitimate national title contender...Oregon has blown out its first three foes, scoring 59 points in back-to-back games and averaging more than 60 points per game. The second-ranked Ducks will be favored in every Pac-12 game and should be in the BCS Championship game if they win out. - The Sports Xchange

09/16/2013 - SEPT 16 COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE AWARDS QUARTERBACK PERFORMER OF THE WEEK: Marcus Mariota (Oregon)...Mariota had a career day through the air, passing for 456 yards - tying Akili Smith (Aloha Bowl vs. Colorado in 1998) and Danny O'Neil (Rose Bowl vs. Penn State in 1995). His 483 yards of total offense (456 pass, 27 rush) ranks second to Bill Musgrave (489 at BYU in 1989) in a single game at Oregon.

Honorable Mention: Blake Bell (Oklahoma), Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M), AJ McCarron (Alabama), Connor Halliday (Washington State), Connor Shaw (South Carolina), Kenny Guiton (Ohio State), Chuckie Keeton (Utah State), Joe Southwick (Boise State), Connor Cook (Michigan State), Sean Mannion (Oregon State), Brendon Kay (Cincinnati). - Oregon football/College Football Performance Awards

09/16/2013 - SEPT 16 COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE AWARDS NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PERFORMER OF THE WEEK: Marcus Mariota (Oregon),...Marcus Mariota had a career day through the air vs. Tennessee, passing for 456 yards - tying Akili Smith (Aloha Bowl vs. Colorado in 1998) and Danny O'Neil (Rose Bowl vs. Penn State in 1995). His 483 yards of total offense (456 pass, 27 rush) ranks second to Bill Musgrave (489 at BYU in 1989) in a single game at Oregon. - Oregon football

09/16/2013 - SEPT 16 NCAA FBS NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Marcus Mariota threw for a career-high 456 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for another in Saturday's blowout win against Tennessee. Mariota, who completed 23 of 33 passes, was the first Oregon quarterback to throw for more than 400 yards in a game since Kellen Clemens in 2005. The sophomore quarterback's yardage ties for the third-most in a game in school history. Mariota also became just the fourth quarterback in Oregon history to rush for more 1,000 yards in his career. - NCAA.com

09/16/2013 - Not surprisingly, No. 2 Oregon made a believer of Tennessee coach Butch Jones after dealing the Volunteers their worst loss in more than a century. "I think they are very deserving of where they're ranked," Jones said after the 59-14 blitzing. "I think they're very well deserving of all the accolades that they've received. "They have tremendous, tremendous skill. Anytime you have a quarterback who can throw the ball and run the football, you're always a gap short, you're always a man short." Sophomore QB Marcus Mariota netted only 27 yards rushing but had a 20-yard run among his six carries. He passed for 456 for the Ducks. - The Sports Xchange

09/15/2013 - Marcus Mariota threw for a career-high 456 yards and four touchdowns and No. 2 Oregon handed Tennessee its first loss of the season, 59-14 on Saturday. Freshman Johnny Mundt, who replaced ailing tight end Colt Lyerla, had five catches for 121 yards and two TDs for the Ducks (3-0). Josh Huff added six catches for 125 yards and a score. Mariota, who completed 23 of 33 passes, was the first Oregon quarterback to throw for more than 400 yards in a game since Kellen Clemens in 2005. The sophomore quarterback's yardage ties for the third-most in a game in school history.

Oregon's sloppy play at the start -- four penalties for 35 yards in the first quarter -- helped Tennessee (2-1) take an early lead, but it was fleeting and the Ducks led 38-7 at halftime. Justin Worley completed 13 of 25 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown for the Volunteers, who opened the season with easy home wins over Austin Peay and Western Kentucky. But Tennessee could not keep up with the speedy Ducks, who had 687 yards in total offense compared to 316 for the Vols. Oregon was the first of a tough stretch for the Volunteers and first-year coach Butch Jones: No. 18 Florida, No. 9 Georgia, No. 13 South Carolina and No. 1 Alabama are among Tennessee's next five opponents. - AP Sports

09/13/2013 - Scouting the Oregon passing game: Marcus Mariota has not been as accurate as last season when he led the Pac-12 with a 68.4 competion percentage. He has completed just 29-of-49 passes this season, but has thrown for 433 yards and three touchdowns. - The Sports Xchange

09/09/2013 - Two weeks into the Mark Helfrich era and the Oregon Ducks are looking very crisp. Last week Oregon racked up a school-record 772 total yards in its season-opening win over Nicholls State, averaging 10.9 yards per play in the game, the most by any FBS team in Week 1. They also had eight TD drives that lasted two minutes or less. On Saturday, the Ducks went cross country and blasted Virginia, 59-10, averaging 8.7 yards per play to go with a staggering 8.8 yards per carry. Seven of their eight TD drives were under two minutes. Their first four TD drives took a combined 3:54. So through two games, the Ducks already have one-third as many sub-2 minute TD drives than they had in 14 games last year, where their 45 led the country. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com

09/09/2013 - Oregon has two players who may split votes for the Heisman Trophy. Quarterback Marcus Mariota has run for at least 100 yards in both games and has 668 yards of total offense with six touchdowns. He has thrown for 433 yards and three scores and run for 235 yards and three scores. Junior running back De'Anthony Thomas has also gone over 100 yards on the ground in both games. He had 128 yards and two touchdowns in an opening win over Nicholls and added 124 yards and three scores against Virginia, giving him 252 yards and five scores on the ground. - The Sports Xchange

09/07/2013 - Oregon's farthest trip east since 1970 was no problem. Sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota ran for 122 yards and a touchdown and threw for 199 yards and two touchdowns to lead the second-ranked Ducks past Virginia 59-10 Saturday afternoon at Scott Stadium. De'Anthony Thomas added 124 yards and three rushing touchdowns for the Ducks.

Oregon (2-0) had not traveled as far east since playing Army in 1970 but showed no signs of jet lag by scoring 21 points in the first 11 minutes. Oregon scored first on a 71-yard touchdown run by Mariota on third down. It was the third touchdown run for Mariota on his sixth carry of the season. - The Sports Xchange

09/01/2013 - WEEK 1 COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARS: Marcus Mariota, Oregon, threw for 234 yards and TD and ran two more scores in the No. 3 Ducks' 66-3 rout over Nicholls. - AP Sports

08/31/2013 - Marcus Mariota threw a touchdown pass and ran for two additional scores and the No. 3 Oregon Ducks made easy work of lower-tier Nicholls with a 66-3 victory in the season opener on Saturday. Mariota, who set an Oregon record with 38 touchdowns last season as a redshirt freshman, completed 12 of 21 passes for 234 yards before sitting after the third quarter when the Ducks had built a 45-3 lead.

Mariota also ran for 113 yards for his second career game with more than 100 yards rushing. De'Anthony Thomas ran for 128 yards and two more touchdowns for Oregon in the debut of new head coach Mark Helfrich. Helfrich, the team's former offensive coordinator, was promoted when Chip Kelly left the Ducks in January for the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles. - AP Sports

08/27/2013 - Sophomore Marcus Mariota is on the watch list for the Manning Award, given to the top quarterback in the nation. Mariota set the Pac-12 Conference record for touchdown passes by a freshman with 32 last season. He completed 230 of 336 passes for 2,677 yards and set school records with a 68.5 completion percentage and 38 total touchdowns. He had 3,429 yards of total offense. He is also on the watch list for the Davey O'Brien Award for the top quarterback and the Walter Camp and Maxwell awards for national player of the year. - The Sports Xchange

08/27/2013 - MOST IMPORTANT PLAYER: QB Marcus Mariota - One year ago, he was an unknown, the first freshman to start the opener at quarterback at Oregon in more than two decades. Now he enters his sophomore season as a Heisman Trophy candidate after earning first-team All-Conference honors while being named the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year. Mariota emerged as one of the nation's top dual threats when he threw for 2,677 yards and 32 touchdowns while also running for 752 yards and five scores. He also caught a touchdown pass. - The Sports Xchange

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08/18/2014 - Oregon now paying for injury insurance for Marcus Mariota, others...Earlier this week, CBSSports.com's Jeremy Fowler reported that unlike a handful of other FBS schools -- including Florida State and Jameis Winston -- Oregon was not paying for Marcus Mariota's injury protection insurance, or three other Ducks' similar policies. Oregon announced Friday that that has changed. "The families of quarterback Marcus Mariota, center Hroniss Grasu, cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and defensive end Arik Armstead purchased policies this past offseason under the NCAA's 'exceptional student-athlete disability insurance' rule," the Ducks football program said in a statement. "The athletic department will reimburse them for out-of-pocket expenses related to the policies, after Texas A&M and Florida State took the previously unprecedented step of doing so for football players earlier this year."

The Ducks explained the prior lack of such reimbursements by saying they "had been operating with the understanding that paying insurance premiums would violate NCAA rules, based on previous inquiries" -- and that after seeing Florida State and Texas A&M take that step, they asked for permission from the Pac-12 and received it. The premiums will be paid through the school's NCAA-governed Student Assistance Fund. Oregon senior associate athletic director Craig Pintens previously told CBSSports.com that spending the money to cover the football players' and others' insurance premiums would deplete the Fund beyond the point where it could assist student-athletes with other issues, such as emergency dental work or trips for funerals. - Jerry Hinnen, CBSSports.com

 

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