Oregon's Marcus Mariota Receives 2014 Manning Award


Oregon's Marcus Mariota Receives 2014 Manning Award park

After turning in one of the more impressive seasons by a collegiate quarterback in history, Marcus Mariota from the University of Oregon, was presented with the Manning Award, presented by the Allstate Sugar Bowl to the top quarterback in the nation, at a Saturday ceremony at Manning’s Restaurant in downtown New Orleans. The Manning Award, now in its 11th year, was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting. The award is voted on by a panel of local and national media, as well as each of the Mannings.

[Photo by Wally Porter includes, left to right: Archie Manning, Marcus Mariota, Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan, Sugar Bowl President Carey Wicker]

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"On behalf of my family, I would like to express my gratitude to the Sugar Bowl for creating this award," Manning said from the podium at the event. "We are proud members of the New Orleans community and it is an honor for our family to be associated with the Sugar Bowl."

Manning went on to say how he built a relationship with Mariota over three years of the quarterback serving as a volunteer counselor at the Manning Passing Academy, held each summer in Thibodaux, La.

"Since the first time we had Marcus in town, I could see that he was a fine young man. He went right out and interacted with the kids and genuinely cared about helping them improve. And every year, he has grown and matured. But one telling thing about Marcus, from when he came down here as an unknown freshman, to this past summer when everybody was talking about him being a star and a Heisman candidate and all the hype, Marcus was still the same fine young man. I believe that is the key to his success. Sure, he's a great quarterback, but he's also a good man, the type of player that other players want to follow and want to play hard for."

Mariota, a product of Hawaii, was the consensus national player of the year for 2014 after setting Pac-12 records for total touchdowns (58) and total offense (5,224) and leading the nation in Total Quarterback Rating (90.8). He also became the first player in FBS history to finish a season with a plus-50 ratio of touchdowns to turnovers (seven). The redshirt junior became the first player in Pac-12 history to account for 5,000 yards of total offense in a single season, surpassing that mark with a 372-yard performance in the College Football Playoff National Championship game. He is the seventh Manning Award winner to lead his team to the college football championship game.

"It's incredible, it's a gift to be here," said Mariota at the event. "The Manning family has truly opened their arms to us and welcomed us to the city."

A three-year starter, Mariota led the Ducks to a 36-5 record, and set an NCAA record by passing for a touchdown in all 41 career starts. He is just the second quarterback in school history to lead Oregon to three postseason wins, and was the first three-time first-team all-Pac-12 quarterback in conference history.

Mariota is the second Pac-12 quarterback to win the honor, joining USC’s Matt Leinart, who was selected in 2004-05, the inaugural season of the award.

The other finalists for this year’s Manning Award were: J.T. Barrett (Fr., Ohio State), Trevone Boykin (Jr., TCU), Rakeem Cato (Sr., Marshall), Garrett Grayson (Sr., Colorado State), Brett Hundley (Jr., UCLA), Cody Kessler (Jr., USC), Bryce Petty (Sr., Baylor), Dak Prescott (Jr., Mississippi State), Blake Sims (Sr., Alabama) and Jameis Winston (So., Florida State).

In its first 11 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 10 different schools and from four different conferences. While the Southeastern Conference leads the way with four Manning Award winners (JaMarcus Russell, Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel), Texas is the only school with two winners (Vince Young and Colt McCoy).

Statistically, the Manning Award has seen a wide-range of quarterbacks. Eight of the Manning Award men threw for over 3,000 yards in their winning campaign, including 4,000-yard seasons from Mariota, Winston, Robert Griffin, III, and Matt Ryan, who connected for over 4,500 yards during the 2007 season. On the other hand, Young, Manziel and Newton were both 1,000-yard rushers during their Manning years.

Perhaps most impressive among the statistics of the quarterbacks recognized by the Manning Award is touchdowns scored. Six of the winners accounted for over 40 touchdowns during their successful seasons – Mariota’s 58 touchdowns shatters the Manning Award record of 51 scores from Newton, who threw for 30 touchdowns, ran for 20 more and added a receiving TD.

One of the more unique aspects of the Manning Award is the fact that it takes into account the quarterbacks bowl performances, in addition to the regular season. Nine of the 11 Manning Award winners won bowl games during the season they won the honor; the lone losses were by Mariota in this year’s CFP National Championship and McCoy in the 2010 BCS Championship game when he suffered an early injury. In addition to Mariota and McCoy, five other Manning honorees (Leinart, Young, Tebow, Newton and Winston) led their team to the BCS Championship game.

Manning Award winners have also factored prominently in the NFL Draft as they all heard their names called on Draft Day (other than Mariota and Winston, who will likely be top picks in the 2015 draft). Two honorees were selected No. 1 overall (Russell and Newton), while three others went No. 2 or No. 3 (Young, Ryan and Griffin).

All of the Manning Award winners follow in the footsteps of the Mannings themselves. In college, Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning combined for over 25,000 passing yards and 201 touchdowns while playing in 10 bowl games and earning four bowl MVP awards. Archie was the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, while both Peyton and Eli were selected No. 1 overall.

In addition to the Manning Award's yearly honor, each week during the regular season, eight quarterbacks are recognized as Manning Quarterbacks of the Week. Sixty-two players from 58 different schools were honored during the 2014 season.