Mariota: Decision to leave Oregon Ducks 'bittersweet' - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Mariota: Decision to leave Oregon Ducks 'bittersweet'

Heisman Winner Marcus Mariota calls decision to enter 2015 NFL Draft 'bittersweet.' Heisman Winner Marcus Mariota calls decision to enter 2015 NFL Draft 'bittersweet.'
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -  Heisman Trophy winner and former Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota says his decision to enter the 2015 NFL Draft wasn't an easy one.

"It was definitely bittersweet," Mariota told Hawaii News Now's Mark Carpenter during an exclusive interview on Friday. "You know, you make so many friends, you build so many relationships, and it felt that it was the right time to leave and it was a family decision, but again, it was really bittersweet."

The Saint Louis School alum returned home last week to accept the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame's inaugural college football player-of-the-year award during a ceremony at the Polynesian Cultural Center. 

Mariota has since traveled to San Diego, California, where he plans to continue preparing for next month's scouting combine. The star quarterback says his loss to Ohio State in the National Championship game will help motivate him as he prepares for the next level.

"You can always get better," Mariota said. "There's room for improvement. Sometimes falling short leads to building that up again, and finding ways to improve."

Mariota says the team's loss doesn't take away from the other things Oregon was able to accomplish this year, including a Pac-12 Conference Championship. 

"I'm proud of those guys in the locker room," Mariota said. 

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