Anyone who has asked Marcus Mariota about being part of the Heisman discussion, including me, will tell you he genuinely doesn’t seem to be worried about it. That doesn’t mean he isn’t making his case.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there hasn’t been a reason yet to doubt Mariota’s play. He may start of shaky as he works through early jitters, but he always comes through. He’s smart. He’s consistent. He has a calming way about him. He’s fast. He’s got a solid arm. He can make things happen in a pinch. He doesn’t give up. And, he’s humble, always giving credit to his team before himself. Unfortunately, that’s not what sells headlines.
As someone who has hoped the rest of the nation would give Mariota the credit he deserves, I’m extremely proud today. Today, Mariota stepped onto his first relevant big stage of the season and quietly put everyone on notice. He stayed calm in an intense battle with a hated rival, completing 24-31 passes and racking up yards and touchdowns that made even the most reluctant pundits take an honest look. When the game came to a close, many commentators claimed he should now be the Heisman front runner- the compliment of all compliments. Mariota however met the cameras and again complimented his team.
Of course there are no guarantees, but as the season moves on, it’s hard not to believe Mariota will continue to succeed and make that trip to New York City. If and when that happens, there is little doubt Mariota will humbly and respectfully represent the Oregon Ducks. I, however, will join the rest of Duck Nation in saying, “I told you so.”