After a fantastic week 11 in the 2014 College Football season, the Heisman Trophy competition has never been more intense. Teams such as Mississippi State, Alabama, Florida State, and Oregon try to remain or rise up in the College Football Playoff Top 25 rankings and the country’s most outstanding players are attempting to push up their stock in order to receive an invitation to the Heisman ceremony in New York. Among these players include Mississippi State dual-threat quarterback Dak Prescott and Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon, who last week racked up 260 total yards and 205 total yards during their games last week respectively. However, the favorite among the Heisman candidates is the Duck quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Last week against Utah, Mariota proved to the world that he’s the real deal. After getting sacked four times by the Utes’ defense, he got back up on his feet and threw for three touchdowns and ran for another. Who can forget about Mariota’s stunning 61 yard run from the Oregon 25 to the Utah 14 yard line early in the first quarter? At the end of the day, Mariota finished dynamically with 353 total yards with 114 yards being on the ground. As a dedicated Duck fan, just witnessing him put the team on his back and carry it to victory was amazing to watch.
A true Heisman Trophy winner is defined by his actions both on and off the field. Going back to the Stanford game in Eugene during week 10, Mariota had another stellar performance, but towards the end didn’t celebrate as most Duck players and fans did. This is mainly because when Ducks’ offensive lineman Matt Pierson went down with a leg injury, Mariota ventured onto the field to check on his friend. Eventually, as medical personnel helped Pierson, Mariota stood by his side and patted him on his helmet as if telling Pierson that he was there for him. The poise that Mariota possesses is truly special and separates him from other Heisman candidates. He’s willing to go out of his way to be there for his teammates or any football player by serving as a shoulder to cry on during tough times. Personally, I see this as a rarity in football. The previous two Heisman winners Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston have never displayed either on and off field the caring attributes that Mariota has shown. He is, indeed, a one of a kind quarterback.
All things considered, there’s no question that Oregon’s QB Marcus Mariota is considered the top prospect for the Heisman Trophy this year. Needless to say, it’s evident that Mariota will stay the course and won’t stop striving to be the best man he can be both on and off the field. If he continues staying healthy, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the 2014 Heisman winner would be Marcus Mariota himself.
Article referred to Ralph D. Russo of The Associated Press and the link is http://www.ncaa.com/news/football/article/2014-11-09/oregon-qb-and-heisman-contender-marcus-mariota-more-show-tell
Top Photo by Kevin Cline