Heisman Winner Mariota ‘Going All In for God’

Penny Starr | December 29, 2014 | 2:53pm EST
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Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota after being awarded the Heisman Trophy in New York. (AP photo)

( -- It was no surprise to college football fans that Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota won the coveted 2014 Heisman Trophy as the outstanding player of the year.

But given the controversy sometimes associated with the sport, it’s refreshing to know that Mariota’s character and faith run as deep as his talent on the gridiron.

“Going ‘all in’ for God is glorifying Him with the abilities He’s given us and shining our light for Him,” Mariota said in a prior interview with The Fellowship of Christian Athletes Magazine.

“I think as an athlete when you’re able to go out there and have the abilities that the Lord has blessed you with, you want to glorify Him,” Mariota added.

Mariota, who graduated from the University of Oregon earlier this month with a science degree, said that his Christian faith affects his efforts on the football field in his interview with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), an organization he became involved with in high school.

“Being a football player, faith plays a huge role,” Mariota told FCA Magazine in an article published prior to his senior year.

“When things start to get rough, you find comfort in your faith. Knowing that no matter what, you can dust yourself off and be okay.

“And you know you do it for [God’s] glory,” Mariota said. “You do it for your teammates, your family, but also for His glory and to represent His name.

“You want to go out there to represent Him in the right light,” he added. “To represent your family in the right light and to do that through His power.”

According to the Heisman Trophy website, Mariota led the nation in passing efficiency with a mark of 186.3 by completing 254 of his 372 passes for 3,783 yards and 38 touchdowns while throwing just two interceptions. He also rushed for 669 yards, scored 14 times, and recorded one touchdown reception.

Mariota's total of 53 touchdowns ties the Heisman record for most touchdowns by a winner with St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford in 2008.

Mariota received the second-highest percentage of possible points in Heisman history with 90.92 percent, according to ESPN. Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith received 91.63 percent in 2006. Southern California running back Reggie Bush received 91.77 percent in 2005, but his victory was later vacated for NCAA rules violations.

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