Who is Marcus Mariota?
Marcus Mariota is an American football player who plays for the team Tennessee Titans as a quarterback in the National Football League. Born and brought up in Hawaii, Marcus has played American football since his school days while he was attending Saint Louis School. Once he graduated from the high school, he got enrolled into the University of Oregon. After many praiseworthy performances during his college years, Marcus emerged as one of the top picks for the 2015 NFL draft. He was then picked up by Tennessee Titans as the second overall pick. By the end of his rookie season, he came out as one of the most promising youngsters in the team. He set the record for most passing touchdowns in a debut season as in the 12 games that he played in during his first season he scored 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. During his second season at NFL, he earned the honour of AFC Offensive Player of the Month for the month of November 2016 and carried on his performance for the remaining part of the season as well. In 2018, Titans decided to go ahead with the fifth year option on Marcus’ contract.
Childhood & Early Life
Marcus Mariota was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on October 30, 1993 to parents Alana Deppe-Mariota and and Toa Mariota. He was the eldest child in the family and his parents gave birth to his younger brother Matt a few years later. Marcus was born in a middle class family with Samoan and German routes.
His father worked in the Department of Homeland Security and later switched to Custom and Immigration Enforcement branch. Toa was himself an avid rugby player during his younger days and started throwing balls at Marcus when he was 9 years old. It played a major role in pushing Marcus toward sports at a very young age.
Marcus was a sports enthusiast since his childhood days and although he grew up in a locality where American football was a very popular game, his parents did not allow him to play that. Marcus spent most of his childhood playing rugby, soccer and volleyball. As he grew up a little more and asked his parents for the permission to play American football, his father agreed only on the condition that he would just play flag football.
As a result, Marcus did not get enough chances to try his hand at football and was busy playing other sports such as soccer and surfing. Everything changed when he got enrolled into St. Louis School and became eager to join the football team there. His parents agreed to his wishes when he showed his dedication and love for the sport.
Struggling with the financial difficulties, his family had a very hard time managing Marcus’ coaching for football which was very expensive. But putting all their faiths into their son, they sold their house to make sure their son gets the best coaching possible. Soon enough, Marcus started to grow as a footballer and by the final year of the high school, he was already a star player.
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For first couple of years at high school, Marcus was just an average player who was relatively unknown. But towards the final year, he performed a miraculous transformation and surprised everybody with his mettle on the field. As he was a part of the school team in the senior year, he played a major role in having his school team win the state title with an 11-1 record. He threw the ball for 2,597 yards and had 32 touchdowns and gave away only 5 interceptions.
For his memorable performance, he was named the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Offensive Player of the Year. He further polished his skills by attending the Oregon Football camp in 2010. There, he caught the attention of Mark Helfrich, Oregon’s offensive coordinator. He was the first recruiter to discover the powerhouse of talent that Marcus was and visited him in Honolulu. Marcus was immediately offered a scholarship by the University of Oregon while many other colleges expressed their interests in hiring him.
He started his college football career with Oregon Ducks in 2012 after he became a victim of redshirting during the 2011 season. In his debut season, Marcus opened in all the 13 games that he played for his team and ended the season with 32 touchdowns against 6 interceptions. His performance was at its very peak during the contest with Arizona state, where Marcus caught a touchdown pass, threw one and then ran for 86 yards for touchdown. With that, he won all three scores with 12 minutes still remaining in the first half.
During his second season for Oregon Ducks, Marcus faced a knee injury but despite that, he kept playing in the remainder of the season. Marcus ended the 2013 season with a record to his name. He became the first player in Oregon history to eclipse through 4000 yards in a season. In all the season, he covered 4,380 yards of total offense.
In late 2013, Marcus announced that he not was going to appear in the 2014 NFL season and continued his stint with Oregon Ducks. In December 2014, Marcus won the prestigious Davey O’Brien award after he was named nation’s best quarterback. In 2015, Marcus graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in General Sciences, with emphasis on human physiology.
He entered the NFL Draft for 2015 and was selected as a second overall pick by the Tennessee Titans and made his regular season debut in September 2015. In the 12 games that he played during his rookie season with Titans, Marcus proved his mettle as he had 2,818 passing yards and 19 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. At the age of 19, he made the record for most passing touchdowns by a player in the rookie season.
His knee injury kept rising in a few games throughout the season and it became a cause of concern for the team and Marcus. But it did not stop him from performing as per the expectations. In November 2016, during his second season, he was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month as he passed 1,124 yards with 11 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
By the end of the 2016 season, Marcus had his career’s best performance as he scored 26 touchdowns and 9 interceptions and crossed his career high of 3,426 passing yards. His peers further ranked him as one among the 50 Best NFL Players of 2017. In addition, he was further honoured with the title of Pro Bowl First Alternate.
During the 2017 season, Marcus ended the regular season with 3,232 passing yards while scoring 13 passing touchdowns and 15 interceptions. In April 2018, Marcus’ contract was picked up for a fifth year option, making the contract valid for two more years.
Marcus Mariota has remained private about his personal life on the social media platforms. But his relationship with Kiyomi Cook has been very well known. Although the couple made their first public appearance in 2015, it has been rumoured that they are together since their college years. Before Cook though, Marcus has dated a girl named Nicole Watase in high school.
Marcus mentions his father Toa as his biggest inspiration and says that he is his ‘biggest critic and inspiration’.