Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is expected to receive some hardware this week, and that got started Monday afternoon. Mariota was named the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winner by the Johnny Unitas Foundation. The award goes to the nation’s top senior quarterback in the country. The award is based on on-field performance, scholastic achievement and character. Mariota seems to check off each one of those considerations.
“Marcus is as humble and gracious off the field as he is poised and electrifying on it,” said Andy McNamara, Assistant Athletic Director for the University of Oregon in a statement released by the Johnny Unitas Foundation. “He is an exceptional ambassador for not just the football program, but the University of Oregon as a whole.”
Mariota had the nation’s sixth highest pass completion percentage and was among the nation’s leading passers with 3,773 yards and 38 touchdowns to just two interceptions. His passer rating of 186.1 was unrivaled by any other quarterback in the country, and a good 15 points ahead of the second best rating in the country owned by Colorado State’s Garrett Grayson.
Last year’s Golden Arm Award winner was A.J. McCarron of Alabama. Mariota is the first Oregon player to win the award, which was first presented in 1987, and the first player from the Pac-12 (Pac-10) to win the award since Andrew Luck of Stanford in 2011.