It doesn’t look like the Oregon Ducks’ faithful have to suffer through Mariota withdrawals just yet, as one of Marcus’ kin is headed to Eugene for the upcoming season.
CBSSports and other outlets reported yesterday that Matthew Mariota, younger brother of the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, will be joining UO’s football program in the fall, on scholarship or “likely a preferred walk-on,” per KHON2 in Hawaii.
While he is not the agile quarterback we are used to seeing in a neon Oregon jersey, the younger Mariota is a outside linebacker-defensive lineman coming into collegiate football at 6’3″ and weighing in at 230 lbs. He garnered attention at the end of his high school campaign as a 2014 All ILH honorable mention D-lineman.
Of course there is already speculation as to if and how younger brother Matthew will fill Marcus’ shoes. Taking into consideration that they don’t even play the same position, perhaps such early comparisons — namely before Matthew even gets to Oregon — really aren’t necessary. UO sports blog FishDuck.com makes an excellent point: It’s too early to tell what type of player Matthew will become in his college career, we can more safely assume that he will bring the same high level of “work ethic and character” as former team leader Marcus.
What we can summate, at least a bit more confidently, is that the Louis High School grad is joining the UO football program in a class pushing to keep the Ducks in contention for a national title again. In addition to continuing the Mariota legacy at Oregon, Matthew is entering his college football career with a Ducks’ team whose recruiting class is already creating a lot of buzz. The UO class is ranked second in the Pac-12 and 16th nationally, with five highly-anticipated early enrollees per 247Sports.com There is also a strong Hawaiian presence on the team; in addition to Mariota, defensive standout and Honolulu native Canton Kaumatule will suit up for the Ducks in the fall.
*Section Photo credit to Brian Bahr, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Matthew Emmons, USA Today Sports