At the heart of Oregon’s fast-paced, high-powered offense is Marcus Mariota, a redshirt freshman quarterback from Hawaii.
He is a dual-threat athlete who just finished an impressive season with the Ducks. Mariota threw for 2,511 yards and 30 touchdowns while completing 69.9 percent of his passes. The 6-foot-4, 211-pounder also averaged seven yards per carry while rushing for 690 yards and four touchdowns.
If not for sharing the spotlight with sensational running back Kenjon Barner all year, Mariota might have been a Heisman Trophy candidate this season.
For those reasons, some have compared him to Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein.
“I feel like if there’s one similarity I feel that it’s we’re both athletic,” Mariota told the Oregonian earlier this week.
Though both players are effective in several different areas and have put up good stats, I’m not sure that’s fair. They both get the job done, sure. But they are different quarterbacks.
Mariota is faster than Klein, and likes to throw quickly into plays and keep Oregon’s offense moving. Klein is a more powerful runner than Mariota, and prefers to let plays develop before throwing downfield or choosing a hole to run through. Mariota reminds me more of West Virginia’s Geno Smith.