Mariota Raves About Oregon Official

One of the first early verbal commits to Chip Kelly and the Oregon football program for 2011 was Honolulu (HI) St. Louis three-star quarterback Marcus Mariota. The dual-threat athlete made his commitment to the Ducks in June, but he was able to take in game day at Autzen Stadium this past weekend.

Talk about your overall experience during your official visit in Eugene this past weekend.

"It was definitely great. Just getting up to campus and to go to Autzen and experiencing everything was a great experience. I enjoyed every minute of it."

You took an unofficial visit to Eugene during the summer, but what stood out to you during your official visit?

"Definitely the game. The game was just beyond my imagination. Everyone kept telling me, 'You gotta come watch a game at Autzen' and I said, 'Ok I'll make it out there.' What they told me was right. The atmosphere is crazy, the fans get real in to it, and it was just an unreal experience just to witness that and it makes me excited to know that I'm going to play in front of such passionate fans."

Was it as loud as you thought it would be?

"(laughter) No! I thought it would be quieter than that. I mean it was real loud (laughter)."

What day did you get in to Eugene?

"I left Thursday night and got in Friday morning, so October 1."

Take us through the kinds of things you got to do while on your visit.

"Basically I came in on Friday around 10:00 am and they put us in a hotel and we kind of rested for a couple of hours and then around 2:00 pm, we had lunch at the Oregon Electric Station. We had a good meal and talked with coach Jim Fisher -- the recruiting coordinator -- and coach (Mark) Helfrich came down. We went over everything that I was going to do and we just basically talked and had a good time and ate a good meal. After that, I walked through the treatment center and then I went in to the academic center and talked to some of the professors in the major I'm looking to go in to -- which is human physiology -- and after that I went and had dinner with the coaches. Coach (Chip) Kelly was there, we had a good meal, and after that I went and did the team meetings. Team meetings was actually pretty cool too, I gotta say. Watching all that film with the team and going through everything, I realized that they basically run the same offense as I do here (in Hawaii), so it was pretty fun to watch."

Who was your host on the trip?

"Isaac Ava. He's a walk-on."

Did he go to St. Louis High School?

"Yeah he did actually. We've known each other and we've been pretty good friends. It was good for me to have someone I kind of knew walk me around. It made the experience a lot better."

What was it like being able to spend some quality time with the coaching staff?

"It was great, because for me, it just reassured that Oregon is a good fit for me. The coaches welcomed me with open arms. Just having them talk to me and go over stuff...they told me that in the spring, they'll start sending me the plays and getting the offense down. All that stuff -- the little things -- just reassured that Oregon is a good fit for me."

Do you know when you're planning to arrive in Eugene?

"I'll come in the summer time. I'll take the summer school programs -- the six-week program. I'll be up there June or July."

Did anyone accompany you on your visit?

"My whole family came with me. My mom, dad, and little brother. They all ate it up too. They all had a great time."

Did you get a chance to talk to any of the other recruits who were in town last weekend?

"I've built a relationship with Tacoi (Sumler) and I talk to him a little bit. I met him over the summer and we're just kind of building a relationship. It was fun to talk to him. He talked basically about how his season was going and all that. I talked with Jesse (Hayes) and a little bit with Lamar (Dawson). They both have Oregon as one of their top choices and they were having a good time too. They were excited to be in Autzen. That was basically it. Everyone was enjoying the experience."

How would you rate the trip on a 1 to 10 scale?

"(laughter) A 10."

Do you have any plans to take any unofficial visits later on in the season?

"No, I think I'm done for now. I'm just gonna enjoy my senior year, look forward to being a Duck, and just keep on rollin'."

Marcus Mariota profile

Follow Chris Courtney on Twitter at eDuckCCourtney

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