Marcus Mariota Draft Profile: NFL Teams Will Want to Seriously Consider His IntangiblesBy Russell Westerholm, UniversityHerald Reporter
When remembering Marcus Mariota, the college football player, no one will remember him for losing the National Title game on Jan. 12, 2015.
He will be remembered one of the best QBs to ever play college football.
But whether or not his last collegiate game was a loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes has yet to be determined. If it is, then he is projected to be a very high draft pick in the NFL and one cannot gauge the Hawaiian QB's overall value without weighing his "intangibles."
Howie Kussoy wrote for the New York Post in late Dec. about how Mariota interacts with the media strictly for duty's sake. In fact, he simply does not the attention and is much more comfortable in pads and a helmet.
The essence of the piece, however, is that Mariota does not shy from the big moment on the field, just from the big camera awaiting him after. He will speak to the media though, and he did grant a brief interview after Monday night's loss.
Possibly one of Mariota's strongest selling points is his genuine grace and class. He is an emotional football player who seems to care deeply for his teammates, yet he seldom wears his heart on his sleeve. No emotion or statement ever seems forced. The same can be said about the way he plays quarterback, smooth and calculated and exuding with confidence.
As Graham Watson reported for Yahoo Sports, Mariota held back tears for when he was alone in the locker room with his coaches and teammates. Another player might have sat on the bench to watch his opponents celebrate, for use as kindling for a competitive fire, but not Mariota. He wanted to be alone with his teammates and coaches, to tell them he was proud of them and loves playing football with them.
Mariota is apparently quite studious. SB Nation reported in late July that the Oregon passer in his third year on the team was "just a few credits shy" of graduating. In July, Mariota had yet to play a down of what would be his Heisman Trophy campaign, but he was already down to just taking a couple electives to complete his degree.
So this past semester he took golf and yoga courses. He even participated in last spring's commencement ceremony.
FACT: If you complete your degree requirements in 3 yrs, you can then take whatever classes you want #GoDucks
— Andy McNamara (@McNamaraUO) July 28, 2014
Mariota graduating makes him eligible for the @seniorbowl #NFL RT @McNamaraUO Cap, gown and shoe game ✔️✔️✔️ #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/mPw9GPsEbB — Patrick Woo (@P_Woo) June 16, 2014
When weighing his NFL decision, Mariota will consider starting grad school - most likely in an accelerated/online program - at Oregon to play his last year of NCAA eligibility. If not, the Wonderlic test awaits at the combine.