Gary Breedlove Photography
Over the past several years, our beloved Ducks have had a number of players named to the preseason Heisman watch list. Two seasons ago it was LaMichael James garnering the attention. LaMichael ultimately fell short of winning the award, but finished the season with almost 2,000 yards rushing before bolting for the NFL draft where he was a second round pick by the San Francisco 49ers. Last year, both Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas received the hype and praise from all across the nation. However, in the end, neither one got the necessary touches to win the award due to the overall game plan and the emergence of this year’s Heisman hopeful, Marcus Mariota.
Mariota brings something to the table that none of our most recent hopefuls had: he touches the ball on every single down. As a first year starter last year, he far exceeded expectations to be named first team All PAC-12.
Oregon’s most recent Heisman hopeful to touch the ball on every down was Dennis Dixon, and to this day Duck fans still ask themselves what could have been. Now Mariota is 100 days away from being expected to build upon what was his very successful “rookie” campaign to take that next step forward and hopefully become the first Oregon Ducks player to win the Heisman.
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