"I haven't been called anything but "Cover Boy" since, so that's been a little different," said Mariota, who's about as naturally adverse to the limelight as an albino is to sunlight.
Still, Mariota sees the magnitude of the accomplishment, joining teammate De'Anthony Thomas as current players who've been the magazine's main attraction.
"It's pretty special. It's something that's pretty cool and it's a great honor," he said. "As a little kid, my parents always bought Sports Illustrated. To say that am on the cover is pretty cool."
Thursday's practice brought more situational drills for the Ducks, focusing on overtime periods and pressure kicking.
The battle between senior Alejandro Maldanado and true frosh Matt Wogan has been one of the most scrutinized by fans. Through 10 days of camp, Helfrich says neither has created much distance from the other in the fight to win the role.
According to Helfrich, Maldanado has been "consistent" and Wogan has "a really big leg."
Which begs the question, would Helfrich consider a two-man kicking rotation, using Maldando on short kicks and Wogan on longer ones?
Helfrich says the idea hasn't been eliminated, and that his only preference is that the kick goes through the uprights.
It sounds like the four-man competition to be replace punter Jackson Rice has been cut to two. Helfrich didn't want to comment on who has made the final pairing, but said no separation has been made.
One final note on roster decisions. Helfrich said late last week that redshirt plans would likely be determined at the end of the second week, it now appears the goal will be to have them made following the team's next scrimmage, which is scheduled for Thursday.
So, be sure to check back on Thursday and Friday for what we hope will be some definitive answers on which freshman will see the field versus Nicholls State University.