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Sports

Volume 65 Number 3

Heisman Hype

by Mary Dawson - 2014-12-18

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Big things are taking place these days at the University of Oregon. In addition to the school’s No. 2 national ranking in football, Oregon is now home to its first Heisman Trophy recipient. Last Saturday, quarterback Marcus Mariota, the Ducks’ outstanding junior quarterback, won the prestigious award as the best player this season in college football.

Mariota’s victory is a first on many levels. It’s the first time the award has gone to a West Coast player that wasn’t from USC since 1970. That year, the winner was Stanford quarterback Jim Plunkett. Mariota almost broke the record for the largest margin of victory in Heisman history. His name appeared on 90.9% of the ballots, putting him only slightly behind the 2006 winner from Ohio State, quarterback Troy Smith, whose name appeared on 91.63% of the ballots.

Even before the announcement of the winner, it was clear how popular Mariota is. During the week leading up to the Heisman announcement, Mariota made it a clean sweep of the major college football honors, earning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the Davey O’Brien quarterback of the year, and the Walter Camp and Maxwell awards for player of the year. It turned out to be the perfect end to Mariota’s week on Saturday when he was selected winner of the 80th Heisman Trophy.

The Heisman Trust describes the award as one that’s given to “the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.” Going along the lines of this criteria, it makes sense that a player such as Marcus Mariota would be the best candidate for this award. But keep in mind that no one knows what the future holds for this Heisman winner. It could be greatness or it could backfire in the face of the Heisman organization.

Remember the winner from last year, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston? Yes, he still has a “performance best exhibiting excellence,” a.k.a. he does a decent job at quarterback. However, what about the part that includes excellence with integrity?

How much integrity does a player have after doing something as foolish as stealing crab legs? How much integrity does a player have left after being investigated for sexual assault?


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Article Keywords:

football, heisman, quarterback, mariota, award, best, player, year, winner, integrity


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