Ducks fly together: Mariota ready for what could be final college season

Ducks fly together: Mariota ready for what could be final college season

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks will begin their fall flight Monday as fall Camp opens in Eugene.

Last season, the former St. Louis Crusader ranked among one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country.

He and the team were in the Heisman and national title conversation until two late season losses.

As oregon enters 2014 ranked 4th, head coach Mark Helfrich says he is most impressed with Marcus' growth as a captain.

"I think the bigger thing with him is the type of teammate he is, the type of leader he is off the field and as a college football player," said Helfrich in a recent interview with the Pac-12 Network.  "If you're the backup middle linebacker and you see that guy turn down the money he turned down, the opportunity he turned down, I think that kind of wakes you up and I think that not only speaks to Marcus' character, but hopefully a lot of our program as well."

Mariota says a strong support group has been key in staying away from buying into media hype on expectations.

"You know I'm able to lean on these guys, my teammates and my family as well," Mariota said. "We're kind of great buffers for each other. you know we're able to cancel out all that outside noise and focus on what we have to do and that's getting better."

2014 could be magical for Marcus.

According to a June article in USA Today, he's the front runner to win the Heisman Trophy.

He's ahead of Baylor QB Bryce Petty and reigning champ FSU QB Jameis Winston.

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