Chip Kelly knew Mariota would be a Heisman winner

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Soon, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota will win the Heisman Trophy.  His former coach at Oregon knew it would happen several years ago.

“When he was a freshman, I remarked, ‘This kid is going to win the Heisman,’” Eagles coach Chip Kelly told reporters on Thursday.  “He’s a special young man and he’s a hell of a football player and he deserves it.  But I don’t think it’s any impact that I had.  The type of kid that he is, he had an impact on everybody that had an opportunity to coach him.  I’m sure [Oregon coach] Mark Helfrich and [Oregon offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach] Scott Frost would tell you the same thing.  He’s just a special young man and very deserving of the award.”

So what impresses Kelly the most?

“I think it’s how he handles himself, his demeanor and all of those things, that really kind of sets him apart,” Kelly said.  “He’s a special young man from that standpoint. . . .  He’s just got a gift for playing football.  He’s everything you want.  He can throw the ball, he can run.  He’s the most talented kid that I coached in college.”

And that will do nothing to quiet the speculation that Kelly, who views the draft as an overrated crapshoot, will do whatever he has to do to move in position to get Mariota in April.

26 responses to “Chip Kelly knew Mariota would be a Heisman winner

  1. No impact? Don’t be so modest Chippie. When you cowardly high tailed from Oregon, leaving them enough NCAA sanction violations to set them back a while. Your impact was huge.

  2. I vote for Gordon. This cant be a QB award every year. 5000 yards is not hard when you throw 60 times a game. 2000 yards rushing is like 7000 passing. Give it to Gordon. And I am from MINNESOTA so I am far from a Drunken Sconnie fan.

  3. The kid’s from Hawaii… A Heisman…this will be big for the State, even if he did jump ship from the University of Hawaii (so would I) to go play for the Ducks.


  4. I am so nervous about Marcus Mariota. Great kid, class act, hard worker, outstanding college talent. You watch him and you’re amazed at what he does on the field, but a lot of what people do not see is that his receivers are wide open almost every play due to the amazing system in Oregon. There is big doubts in my mind how he would do throwing into tight windows or tight coverage that he will see in the pro game. I can’t say he will be Geno Smith because I simply do not know yet but it’s sort of what you saw with Geno pre-draft, heavy praise about his accuracy, TD-INT ratio and ability to read a defense.

    But once Geno Smith got into the pro’s he became the QB no one thought he would be with terrible accuracy, bad foot work and inability to read a defense (All attitude problem rumors and some Jet hate from the media aside) I think there should be a buyer beware warning for both Winston and Mariota this coming draft.

  5. I totally would be happy if Philly found a way to get Mariota without having to pull a Redskins.

  6. A landslide Heisman for him. He will be a good NFL QB and can actually throw. He will also go in the top 3 picks, so unless Philly is willing to trade with Raiders, Jags, Jets, Bucs, Titans it is not going to be cheap! I do see the Bucs, Jets and Titans picking a QB. THe problem is BAD teams get these QB andit ruins them for a while. Andrew Luck is the only exception. Russell Wilson does not count becuase the Seahhawks were a good team already. If Bortles went to Arizona he would be much better off. The Jets will take him over Winston. It might be the only thing they do right this decade.

  7. Goodell probably just fined Chip for talking about a prospect before the draft…


    He hasn’t even declared for the draft yet. He still has a year of eligibility.

  8. As an Eagles fan, I was all-in with Nick Foles coming into this season. I knew that repeating 26-2 would be difficult for him to do, but I never would have guessed that Nick Foles would be so utterly mediocre this season…in such a ridiculously high-powered offense no less. I’m not giving up on the kid, because like Mariota, Nick Foles is renowned for being a very high character guy, but now the thought of drafting Mariota sounds very enticing. I don’t know how the Eagles are going to manage it, but if they do get a chance to draft Mariota I will be ecstatic to say the least.

  9. For what it would take for the Eagles to go from the mid to late 20’s to get in position to draft this guy is not even worth talking about.

  10. i feel bad for him he is going to end up in the arm pit of teams the nfl has to offer aka Jets, Raiders, Jaguars, Titans, Redskins, Bucs…..good luck.

  11. “When he was a freshman, I remarked, ‘This kid is going to win the Heisman,’” Eagles coach Chip Kelly told reporters

    No you didn’t, Chip, but good story.

  12. If it weren’t for the off-the-field concerns, Winston would be the hands-down first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. He is a better pocket passer and is more accurate than Marcus Mariota. He has a slightly better arm. His game translates better to the pros. Mariota has zero leadership skills. I’m betting a young Winston grows up and leaves Mariota in the dust, although I’m not saying Mariota won’t be good. A lot depends on the teams they land with too.

  13. Let Chip have him. There have only been 2 Heisman winning QBs that have ever won a Super Bowl. Staubach ( in the 60’s), and Plunkett (1970). Not exactly a straight line from Heisman Trophy to Lombardi Trophy.

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