Heisman talk or not, Marcus Mariota is hype-proof

MariotaRonChenoyUSA TODAYSportsThough Marcus Mariota remains gracious and deflective of praise, he has vaulted into the lead in the Heisman straw poll at Heismanpundit.com, and prognosticators and analysts around the country have joined the chorus for The Flyin’ Hawaiian.

Chris Huston’s poll results:

Total Points (with first place votes in parentheses)

1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon — 25 (7)

2. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M — 19 (3)

3. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State — 5

4. Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon State — 4

5. (tie) Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson — 2

5. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor — 2

5. Duke Johnson, RB, Miami –2

8. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville — 1

Lotta football to be played. To secure the award, Mariota has to stay healthy and win duels with Brett Hundley, Kevin Hogan and Sean Mannion, keeping the Ducks on track for a national title bid. Stay steady, distribute the football and make plays. (Ron Chenoy, USA Today photo)

Mariota says he doesn’t think about the attention but that it’s good for his team and his school. He’s quick to credit his receivers and his offensive line, and the genuine, modest replies only further endear him to Heisman voters, an image-conscious lot.

Offensive coordinator Scott Frost, once a Heisman candidate himself while leading an undefeated national champion team at Nebraska in 1997 marvels at how evenly Mariota handles the hype. In a story today he told Jason Quick of the Oregonian,“I hear him answer questions, and most people when they have to answer tough questions about themselves they are programmed to say things about the team, and not themselves. Marcus’ stuff is genuine. He doesn’t have to come up with clichés. It’s the way he is honestly thinking. And we all love him for the type of person he is.’’


Video from Mike Wines of Oregon Duck Soup.