Marcus Mariota was the big winner at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Thursday night in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
The star Oregon quarterback took home the Maxwell Award as the nation’s most outstanding player and the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, in addition to winning the Walter Camp player of the year award.
“It’s surreal. It’s surreal. It really all is,” Mariota said. “Growing up as a kid you always kind of see these award shows. To say that I’m a part of really this fraternity … it’s really just a blessing.”
Mariota said the accolades cap a long personal journey.
“Being from Hawaii, being kinda quiet and reserved to now being a little more vocal and being a part of a special team, it’s come a long way for me. It’s all been such a blessing,” Mariota said.
The soft-spoken QB said he has his coaches and teammates to thank for his growth.
“[My teammates] asked me to kinda step up and be vocal and understand that my words can be powerful. … It’s been an ongoing process for me and I’ve definitely come a long way with it,” he said.
Mariota is the first player from Oregon to win each of the three awards. The junior also is a Heisman Trophy finalist and the front-runner to win that award Saturday (8 p.m., on ESPN) in New York.
Seven of the past eight O’Brien winners have gone on to win the Heisman.
“That’s the first time I’ve heard of [that trend],” he said. “I don’t know how to explain it. It’s pretty cool and we’ll see what happens.”
Mariota leads the nation in passing efficiency (186.3) and accounted for a Pac-12-record 53 touchdowns, including 38 scoring passes. The junior led the Ducks to the inaugural College Football Playoff, where they are the No. 2 seed and will play No. 3 Florida State on Jan. 1.
The other finalists for the Camp award were Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon, TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin, Alabama receiver Amari Cooper and Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright III.
Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston won last year’s Walter Camp and Davey O’Brien awards.
Mariota became the second Pac-12 player in the past four seasons to win the Davey O’Brien Award, joining 2011 winner Andrew Luck of Stanford. He was selected over finalists Boykin and Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott.
Gordon and Prescott also were finalists for the Maxwell, which Alabama’s AJ McCarron won in 2013.
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