Marcus Ardel Taulauniu Mariota (born October 30, 1993) is an American football quarterback for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Titans second overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. He played college football at Oregon where he was the starting quarterback from 2012 to 2014. As a junior in 2014, Mariota became the first Oregon player and Hawaii-born athlete to ever win the Heisman Trophy.
Mariota was born in Honolulu to Alana Deppe-Mariota and Toa Mariota and has a younger brother, Matt Mariota; he is of Samoan descent on his father's side and German descent on his mother's side. He grew up admiring the quarterback play of fellow Samoan Jeremiah Masoli, who was also a standout quarterback at the Saint Louis School and the University of Oregon. Mariota describes himself as a dedicated Christian.
Mariota attended the Saint Louis School in Honolulu, where he was a two-sport star in football and track. In football, he was relatively unknown until late in his high school career due to not starting until his senior season. As a senior, he led St. Louis to an 11–1 record and the state title while being named PrepStar Magazine All-West Region and Interscholastic League of Honolulu Offensive Player of the Year. Mariota threw for 2,597 yards on 165 of 225 passing attempts (64.7%), including 32 touchdowns against only five interceptions. He also rushed the ball 60 times for 455 yards (7.6 yards per carry) and 7 touchdowns. Mariota was named to the NUC All World Game alongside eventual 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
Also a standout track and field athlete, Mariota was a state track qualifier in the sprinting and jumping events. At the 2010 National Underclassman Combine, he won the camp’s “Fastest Man” and “Combine King” awards after running a 4.48-second 40-yard dash. At the 2011 HHSAA T&F Championships, he earned fourth-place finishes in both the 200-meter dash (23.41 s) and the long jump (20 ft, 7 in), while also placing tenth in the 100-meter dash event at 11.63 seconds. He also ran the second leg on the St. Louis 4 × 100 m relay squad, helping them capture the state title with a time of 42.83 seconds.
High school awards and honors
- 2010 HHSAA Division 1 State Football Championship
- 2010 Interscholastic League of Honolulu Offensive Player of the Year
- 2010 PrepStar Magazine All-West Region
- 2010 Hawaii Gatorade Player of the Year
Mariota attended an Oregon football camp in the summer of 2010, which allowed Mark Helfrich, Oregon's then offensive coordinator, to be one of the first recruiters to discover Mariota. After the camp, Helfrich visited Mariota in Hawaii to watch the somewhat unrecognized quarterback practice going into his senior season. Helfrich called Chip Kelly during the visit and they made the decision to immediately offer Mariota a scholarship, despite never starting a varsity game.
After his senior season, he was rated the No. 2 recruiting prospect in the state of Hawaii and No. 12 dual-threat quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com. He was recruited by the Oregon Ducks, Hawaii, Memphis, Utah, Oregon State, Washington, Arizona, Notre Dame, UCLA, and USC but was only offered a scholarship by Memphis and Oregon.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||40‡||Commit date|
|Honolulu, Hawaii||Saint Louis School||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)||211 lb (96 kg)||4.5||Oct 30, 2010|
|Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: ESPN:|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 24 (QB) Rivals: 24 (QB) ESPN: 71 (QB)|
After redshirting the 2011 season, 2012 showcased Mariota as the first freshman to start a season opener for the Ducks in 22 seasons. He led Oregon to a 12–1 record and the #2 final season ranking while being named Pac-12 All-Conference 1st Team, Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year, and earning the 2013 Fiesta Bowl Offensive MVP Award as he guided the Ducks to a 35–17 victory over #5 Kansas State.
Starting in all 13 games, Mariota threw for 2,677 yards on 230 of 336 passing attempts (68.5%), including 32 touchdowns against only 6 interceptions. He also rushed the ball 106 times for 752 yards (7.1 yards per carry) and 5 touchdowns. His athletic versatility was exhibited against Arizona State, when he caught a touchdown pass, threw a touchdown pass, and then ran for an 86-yard touchdown, achieving all three scores with 12 minutes still left in first half.
Mariota earned Pac-12 All-Conference 1st Team honors for the second consecutive year after setting a Pac-12 record from the end of the 2012 season into the 2013 season by attempting 353 passes without an interception. Starting in all 13 games, he completed 245 of 386 passing attempts (63.5%) for 3,665 yards with 31 touchdowns and only four interceptions, while rushing for 715 yards (7.4 yards per carry) and nine touchdowns.
Mariota suffered a partial tear of the MCL against UCLA on October 26 but continued to play the remainder of the season. After Oregon’s 8-0 start, Mariota was featured on the national cover of the November 4, 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated as the favorite to win the Heisman trophy before the #2 ranked Ducks fell to #6 Stanford on November 7. Despite Oregon's 11–2 season record and top-ten ranking, Mariota’s sophomore season was considered a letdown after the Ducks failed to reach a BCS bowl berth for the first time since the 2008 season.
After a loss to Arizona on Nov 23, Oregon’s first loss to an unranked opponent since 2008, Mariota and the Ducks bounced back to beat rival Oregon State 36–35 in the Civil War. Mariota threw a touchdown pass to Josh Huff with 29 seconds remaining to give Oregon the come from behind victory over the Beavers.
Mariota guided the Ducks to their third consecutive bowl victory, beating Texas 30–7 in the 2013 Alamo Bowl while being honored as the game's Offensive MVP after rushing for 133 yards on 15 carries and finishing with 386 total yards. He finished the season with 4,380 yards of total offense, becoming the only player in Oregon history to eclipse 4,000 yards in a season.
Prior to the Alamo Bowl on December 30, 2013, Mariota announced his decision to bypass the NFL Draft and return for the 2014 season. Considered by many to be a Heisman Trophy favorite entering the 2014 season, Mariota was named to watch lists for the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, and Davey O'Brien Award. Prior to the start of the 2014 season Mariota was considered one of the best prospects for the NFL Draft.
On December 11, 2014 at the annual College Football Awards show in Orlando, Florida, Mariota won the Davey O'Brien Award for the nation's best quarterback, and the Walter Camp and Maxwell Award's, both awarded to the nation's best football player. The next day back in Eugene, Mariota graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor's degree in General Sciences, with an emphasis on human physiology, accomplishing one of his goals in returning to play after the 2013 season.
On December 13, 2014, Mariota became the first Oregon Duck and Hawaii-born athlete to win the Heisman Trophy. He had 788 out of 891 (88.4%) of the first place votes, and 90.9% of the total points.
After a 12–1 regular season record, the Ducks were selected to play in the 2015 Rose Bowl, a semifinal game in the College Football Playoff, against Florida State. Mariota was named the Offensive MVP in the 59–20 victory, after throwing for 338 yards with two passing touchdowns and rushing for 62 yards with one touchdown. With the win, Oregon faced Ohio State in the National Championship and lost 42–20. Coming into this game, he was set to clinch the All-Time lowest interception record, until the final 27 seconds where the last pass of the game was intercepted by Eli Apple. It was his final collegiate game as he entered the 2015 NFL Draft a few days later.
1 - NCAA Leader
2 - Pac-12 Leader
3 - NCAA Leader (QB)
4 - Pac-12 Leader (QB)
Awards & honors
- Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year
- Pac-12 All-Conference 1st Team (Pac-12 Coaches, ESPN.com, Phil Steele)
- Pac-12 Academic All-Conference Honorable Mention
- Honorable Mention All-America (SI.com)
- Manning Award Finalist
- Team’s Most Outstanding Player (Skeie’s Award)
- Fiesta Bowl Offensive MVP (January 3, 2013)
- Pac-12 All-Conference 1st Team (Pac-12 Coaches, Phil Steele)
- Sports Illustrated Cover, Aug 19
- Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week (Pac-12 Coaches) Oct 7
- Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week, Oct 13
- Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week (Pac-12 Coaches) Oct 14
- Sports Illustrated Cover, Nov 4
- Team's Most Outstanding Player (Skeie's Award)
- Team's Most Inspirational Player (Wilford Gonyea Award)
- Alamo Bowl Offensive MVP
- CFPA Quarterback Trophy Winner
- Athlon Sports National Player of the Week Sep 7
- Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week Sep 7
- Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week (Pac-12 Coaches) Sep 8
- Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Week Sep 9
- Sports Illustrated Cover, Sep 22
- Senior Bowl National Offensive Player of the Week Oct 20
- Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week (Pac-12 Coaches) Oct 27
- Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week (Pac-12 Coaches) Nov 3
- Team's Most Outstanding Player (Skeie's Award)
- Team's Most Inspirational Player (Wilford Gonyea Award)†
- Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year (Pac-12 Coaches)
- Pac-12 All-Conference 1st Team (Pac-12 Coaches)
- Pac-12 Championship Game MVP
- Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award
- Polynesian College Football Player of the Year
- Davey O'Brien Award
- Walter Camp Award
- Walter Camp All-America Team
- Maxwell Award
- Heisman Trophy
- Associated Press Player of the Year
- Sports Illustrated Cover, Dec 29
- Rose Bowl Offensive MVP (January 1, 2015)
- Manning Award
- Career total touchdowns, 135
- Single season total offense, 5,224 yards (2014)
- Single season total touchdowns, 58 (2014)
- Freshman passing touchdowns, 32 (2012)
- Passes attempted without an interception, 353 (2012-2013)
- Career total offensive yards, 13,089 yards
- Career passing yards, 10,801
- Career passing touchdowns, 105 TD
- Single season passing yards, 4,454 yards (2014)
- Single season passing touchdowns, 42 (2014)
- Single game passing touchdowns, 6 TD (2012, at California)
Conference records are also school records; once a conference record is recorded, its corresponding school record is removed. For example, the record for single season total touchdowns is only recorded in the conference section, but it is both a conference record and University of Oregon record.
Mariota was selected with the second overall pick in the first round by the Tennessee Titans in the 2015 NFL draft behind Jameis Winston.
In 2016, Oregon unveiled their 30,000 square-foot Marcus Mariota Sports Performance Center.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP||Wonderlic|
|6 ft 3¾ in||222 lb||32 in||9⅞ in||4.52 s||1.57 s||2.62 s||4.11 s||6.87 s||36 in||10 ft 1 in||33|
|All values from NFL Combine|
2015 season: Rookie year
In May 2015, Mariota had the best-selling NFL jersey in the league, beating out the first overall pick Jameis Winston, of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Tom Brady, who had the #2 and #3 selling jerseys, respectively. "It's surreal for me, it's such an honor," Mariota said. "For me it's one of those deals, looking back on it in the future, it's a crazy, crazy deal for sure."
Mariota and the Titans agreed to a contract on July 21, 2015. This made Mariota the last first-round pick to be signed and for the second straight year, the Titans were the last team to sign their first-round pick. Mariota signed a 4-year, $24,213,974 contract with the Tennessee Titans. This includes a $15,870,164 signing bonus, $24,213,974 guaranteed, with an average annual salary of $6,053,494.
Mariota made his professional debut on August 14, 2015 in the first preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons where he completed 7 out of 8 passes for 94 yards with an interception and a lost fumble returned for a touchdown.
Playing his first career regular season game on September 13, 2015 in Week 1 against the 2015 first overall draft pick Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mariota threw for 209 yards and four touchdowns in a 42–14 victory. In that game, Mariota gained a perfect passer rating of 158.3, making him the first quarterback in NFL history to attain a perfect passer rating in his first regular season game. Mariota became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw four touchdown passes in the first half of his NFL debut. He is also the youngest quarterback to reach the perfect passer rating (21 years, 318 days), surpassing Robert Griffin III.
In Week 2 against 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns, Mariota completed 21 of his 37 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns in the 28–14 loss.
In week 3 Mariota played his first regular season home game. Against the Indianapolis Colts, Mariota completed 27 out of 44 passes for 367 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the 35–33 loss. Mariota became the Tennessee Titans youngest quarterback to throw for over 300 yards in a game. He also holds an NFL record for touchdown passes in his first 3 games (8).
On November 8, Mariota picked up his second career win and his first fourth-quarter/OT comeback in a 34–28 overtime win over the New Orleans Saints, a game in which Mariota threw for a career high 371 yards and four touchdowns. He also became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to have two games with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
In week 13, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he went 20/29, throwing for 268 yards with 3 touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 112 yards on the day, including an 87-yard run for a touchdown. The Titans won the game 42–39.
In Week 14, in the third quarter, running back Antonio Andrews threw a 41-yard passing touchdown to Mariota in the wildcat formation. Mariota became the first quarterback in franchise history to catch a touchdown reception. He also became the first NFL player since 1983 season to pass for a touchdown, rush for a touchdown and catch a touchdown pass of at least 40 yards (last player was Walter Payton).
In week 15, Mariota completed 3 of 6 passes for 32 yards against the New England Patriots before leaving the game in the second quarter with a knee injury. The next day on December 21, it was revealed that Mariota was diagnosed with another MCL sprain, and the Titans announced that he would miss the remainder of the season. Zach Mettenberger played in his place. In 12 games of his rookie year in 2015, Mariota had 2,818 passing yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 252 yards with 2 rushing touchdowns.
Mariota was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for November after passing for 1,124 yards with 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He fractured his right fibula in Week 16 in a 38-17 Christmas Eve loss to the Jaguars. He underwent surgery and was out for the remainder of the season.
Mariota finished the 2016 season with a career-high 3,426 passing yards with 26 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.