Hart, Mariota Share Football MVP Honors

EUGENE – University of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota was voted the Ducks' Most Inspirational Player (Wilford Gonyea Award) in addition to sharing the team's Most Outstanding Player honors (Skeie's Award) with senior defensive lineman Taylor Hart at the school's annual football awards reception Saturday in Autzen Stadium's Club at Autzen.

Mariota, who claimed a share of the team MVP honors a year ago as a redshirt freshman, becomes the Ducks' first two-time honoree since running back LaMichael James did so following the 2009 and 2010 campaigns.

The Honolulu, Hawaii, sophomore signal-caller has started all 25 games the past two seasons, completing 227 of 360 passes for 3,412 yards and 30 touchdowns during the regular season in 2013. His passing yardage ranks second on the school's single-season list, trailing only Akili Smith's 3,763 passing yards from 1998. In addition, his 3,994 yards of total offense from this year already has eclipsed Smith's school record of 3,947 total offensive yards.

Hart becomes the Ducks' first defensive lineman in five years to earn a share of the program's MVP honors (DE Nick Reed in 2008) and also claimed the Joe Schaffeld Trophy as the team's outstanding defensive lineman for the second year in a row.

The Tualatin, Ore., standout led Oregon's defensive line in tackles with 64 stops as the team's fourth-leading tackler, including three quarterback sacks, in addition to breaking up five passes and forcing three fumbles.

In addition, Hart was selected as a second-team Academic All-Conference choice earlier this week.

Freshman tight end Johnny Mundt was honored with the Len Casanova Award, given to the Ducks' first-year player who best exemplifies the athletic ideals and inspiration of the University's former head coach and athletic director, Len Casanova.

Additional team honorees includes senior quarterback Dustin Haines as the winner of the Elmer Sahlstrom Award as the senior maintaining an outstanding academic record who has demonstrated an exemplary attitude and tremendous contributions; sophomore running back Byron Marshall as the recipient of the Duane J. Cargill Memorial Award as Oregon's outstanding offensive impact player as determined by the coaching staff; junior linebacker Derrick Malone as the recipient of the Dudley Clarke Memorial Award as Oregon's most improved player; sophomore linebacker Rodney Hardrick with the Bob Officer Award, presented to the player who excels in spite of physical adversity; junior offensive tackle Jake Fisher with the Pancake Club Award for knocking down the most opposing defensive linemen for the second year in a row; and senior offensive guard Mana Greig as the recipient of the Ed Moshofsky Trophy as Oregon's outstanding offensive lineman.

The latter award is voted upon by the team's fellow offensive linemen.

Senior center Hroniss Grasu was presented with the Todd Doxey Award for the second year in a row. The award is given to the player who best exemplifies the traits of spirituality, dedication and brotherhood associated with being an outstanding teammate, and qualities possessed by the Ducks' former defensive back, who drowned prior to the start of the 2008 season.

In addition, senior offensive lineman Brian Teague and sophomore T.J. Daniel were acknowledged for their contributions as the squad's offensive and defensive Scout Team Players of the Year, respectively, while redshirt freshman Austin Daich was named special teams Scout Team Player of the Year.

Winners of the program's Gordon E. Wilson Award (presented annually to the program's Outstanding Special Teams Player) and the Big Al's Ironman Award (season's most playing time) will be determined following the Ducks' bowl game.

Oregon has accumulated 10 wins for the sixth year in a row (10-2) and awaits word of its ninth consecutive bowl destination, which will be announced next Sunday, Dec. 8.


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