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August 24, 2012Marcus Mariota pulled off quite a feat. The redshirt freshman quarterback from Honolulu, Hawaii was named by Chip Kelly on Friday as the starter for the Oregon Ducks, beating out sophomore Bryan Bennett for the coveted position.
For the 6-foot-4, 210-pound St. Louis high school graduate the fall camp has been grueling.
"I feel like this has been a process," said Mariota after Thursday's final scrimmage. "Bryan and I, it's been a long haul for us.
"We both understand that we made the team better, and that's all we wanted to do in this whole thing."
How did he assess his performance in the closed session? More modesty.
"I just got the ball out to these guys and they just made plays," Mariota replied.
The soft-spoken Hawaiian has consistently spoken of the team instead of himself throughout camp.
"I took it day-by-day, said Mariota. "I didn't try to focus on myself but just the team and trying to get the team better."
The Ducks continue practice on Saturday, with the first day of preparation for their season-opening opponent Arkansas State, as they embark on the Marcus Mariota era of Oregon football.