Juniors, Seniors and members of the football team at Silverton High School got a special message Friday from a special football player.
Former University of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota—who won the Heisman Trophy in 2014 and was the #2 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft—was in Silverton to talk to kids there about preparing for their collective futures.
Mariota came to Silverton at the invitation of Sione Thompson, Silverton’s principal. Thompson had also served as principal at Mariota’s high school in Hawaii.
Mariota told his audience that being persistent and being “gritty” is a key to success.
“It’s everything,” he told the students crowded into the Silverton High auditorium.
“You’re going to face different challenges, so to be able to persevere through that, it’s going to embolden your character.”
Mariota, who has been a very public professor of his Christian faith, told the audience that God will “tailor your journey based on the challenges and obstacles you need to face.”
He also encouraged students to seek out teachers as adult mentors to help them with some decisions that they need to make as they begin to work towards a life as an independent adult.
Longtime Silverton math teacher and coach Lucky Rogers was impressed with Mariota’s message.
“He was honest,” said Rogers about the easy-going Mariota.
“(Mariota) talked about how important family is to your development as a person/athlete… and he was very laid back and believable.”
The 29-year old Mariota is now a backup quarterback to Jalen Hurts—who directed the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl appearance last January—where his team lost to Kansas City. Mariota has publicly embraced his role with the Eagles, telling Hurts he is “here” for him.
Mariota played his first five NFL seasons for the Tennessee Titans after being drafted in 2015. He then backed up Derek Carr for a season with the Las Vegas Raiders, then was the starter for the Atlanta Falcons last season.
While at Oregon, Mariota threw for nearly 11 thousand yards, and ran for over 2300 yards in three seasons.
What a breath of fresh air is Marcus Mariota from head to toe. An inspiration to many young adults. I might be wrong but looks like he has a pinch or two of OLD School in him. His mom and dad did an outstanding job they should be very proud.