The impact Marcus Mariota had on the Oregon program has been a tremendous one. The Oregon program had been building for years even before Mariota was recruited by Mark Helfrich and former head coach Chip Kelly, but Mariota helped lead Oregon to a Pac-12 championship, a Rose Bowl victory and an appearance in the first College Football Playoff national championship game. Along the way he won the school’s first Heisman Trophy and represented the school and program as well as the state of Hawaii with great pride. Loved by Oregon fans of all ages, Mariota fans are now asking for his uniform number to become the first retired number by Oregon.
As usual these days, there is an online petition for the cause.
“This is a petition to encourage the University of Oregon to retire the #8 jersey of Marcus Mariota,” the online petition states. “He has selflessly brought so much to the school and has held a special place in the household of all Ducks fans. Let us honor him and his legend by retiring his number.”
“Being here now and watching what Mariota’s able to do, I don’t think there’s ever going to be a quarterback like him,” said Oregon student Shane Higgins said in a report by NBC affiliate KMTR in Eugene, Oregon. “I don’t think there’s ever going to be another player like him.”
This may be true, but is it too soon to retire a player’s number out of college? Some feel there should be some time before doing such a gesture that is uncommon in college football. Of course, Robert Griffin III and Tim Tebow already have statues outside their old stomping grounds, so Mariota’s number being retired may not have to wait all that long if Oregon chooses to listen to the fans.