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NCAA: Oregon Ducks QB Marcus Mariota to Return in 2014
Photo Credit: Getty Images

NCAA: Oregon Ducks QB Marcus Mariota to Return in 2014

Dec 3 2013, 11:25pm CST | by

Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota and center Hroniss Grasu are both returning in 2014.

Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota is returning in 2014. In addition to Mariota, center Hroniss Grasu is also coming back for the Ducks next season, per the team's official athletics...

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NCAA: Oregon Ducks QB Marcus Mariota to Return in 2014

Dec 3 2013, 11:25pm CST | by

NCAA: Oregon Ducks QB Marcus Mariota to Return in 2014 Photo Credit: Getty Images

Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota and center Hroniss Grasu are both returning in 2014.

Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota is returning in 2014. 

In addition to Mariota, center Hroniss Grasu is also coming back for the Ducks next season, per the team's official athletics website. The announcements from both players were made a day after both of them earned first-team All-Pac 12 honors for the second consecutive year.

Mariota's back-to-back selections matched those of former Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck, who earned the honors in 2010 and 2011. He is also the first Oregon Ducks quarterback to do it since Chris Miller last accomplished the feat in 1985 and 1986. 

He spoke about the honor of representing the University of Oregon upon declaring his return next season.

"It is an honor to be a student of Oregon and to have the opportunity to represent our institution on the football alongside my teammates. I look forward to earning my degree next year and to the rest of my career at this great University." 

Grasu echoed his quarterback's sentiments. 

"The University of Oregon is a special place and I'm extremely happy to be returning for my senior year. To be a student-athlete in this community is an honor and an experience I'll continue to cherish with my teammates." 

The Oregonian's Andrew Greif wrote about the repercussions of both players staying on for another year with the Ducks on Dec. 3:

"And while that's great news for Oregon at large, it opens questions about the futures of the quarterbacks behind Mariota. In 2014, Jeff Lockie and Jake Rodrigues will be redshirt sophomores, Damion Hobbs and Taylor Alie redshirt freshmen and highly touted recruit Morgan Mahalak a true freshman. 

"Will either Lockie or Rodrigues transfer to find immediate playing time at an FCS school insted of the possibility of being in UO's program three years without a start to show for it? Or, will they stick it out for another quarterback race for the 2015 job should Mariota leave early?

"The benefit of Grasu's return is analogous to that of Mariota because of the vast experience calling complex assignments along the offensive line. It also ensures a bit more time for his likely 2014 backup, Doug Brenner, to learn and gain comfort in the system. Karrington Armstrong, Grasu's backup this season, finishes his eligibility after the bowl game."

With his return, Mariota's record-setting ways figure to continue at Oregon. 

The redshirt sophomore quarterback established a Pac-12 record by attempting 353 passes dating back to the 2012 season without a single interception. The streak has since been broken in a game against the Arizona Wildcats on Nov. 23. 

Furthermore, with his 90.1 quarterback rating (second only to the Florida State Seminoles' Jameis Winston), 3,412 passing yards and 30 touchdowns, Mariota figures to be a solid candidate for the 2013 Heisman Trophy. 

As for Grasu, he was a third team All-American in 2012 and "was a candidate for the Lombardi Award, Outland Trophy and Rimington Trophy this season," according to the Ducks' official website. 

He is given credit for being the anchor of Oregon's offensive line that has helped the team win 10 games for the sixth consecutive year. 

 

 

 

 

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Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

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