One of the sublime joys of sports is witnessing the unfolding of greatness and dreams.
Duck fans are in the midst of one of the game’s special stories, and a parallel story is developing in Kentfield, California, where the present of Duck football touches on the future.
Quarterback Morgan Mahalak, the Duck verbal commit who has already established himself as the leader and spokesman of the 2014 class, finally got to play in the second half of a football game. It was only two plays, but enough time to throw his first second half td in a 55-0 victory. In all he completed 13-22 for 314 yards and 5 tds, adding 3 carries for 31 yards on the ground.
Like Marcus Mariota the younger quarterback had to wait until his senior year to become a starter. Like his predecessor at Oregon he leads a team that is 6-0 and striving for a championship season. Each of them seem to be growing by the week in their command of the offense and their readiness to complete the journey. (247sports.com photo)
In Mariota’s case, the leadership and skill he displays each week increases his value and potential as an NFL prospect. The league already wants him, and stands ready to offer him a lot of money at the end of the year. The Flyin’ Hawaiian focuses sharply on the goal of winning and getting better every week, but that laser-sharp directedness just increases his worth to a league hungry for star power and the ability to lead under pressure.
A few hundred miles to the south, Mahalak’s enjoying his senior year of high school, experiencing the transforming joy of being the man after a couple long years waiting his turn. Can he replace Marcus Mariota? It will take a village to do that. Mariota is an incandescent talent. Say this: the youngster has the purest passing mechanics you’ll ever see in a high school quarterback. He’s sharp and calm in the pocket, consistently delivering a beautiful ball to the right receiver.
Once he arrives in Eugene he’ll have the opportunity to compete and the chance to form his own legacy. Which is all the great ones ever ask for. Stay tuned.