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The solitary preparations of Marcus Mariota
Release Date: 07/17/2013
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This morning featured the publication of my first story as editor of, a look at sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota and his preparations for the 2013 season.

The news hook was Mariota's return from the Manning Passing Academy this past weekend, and how that fit in his summer schedule. As it turns out, it was the only non-UO football commitment he was willing to take on, so as not to miss too many individual or team workouts.

But because of this one trip, Mariota was playing catch-up a bit upon his return. Tuesday is a relatively heavy day for the Ducks in the gym, and to fit everything in upon his return Mariota was at one point alone in the Moshofsky Center working out with a medicine ball, the anecdote I featured to lead my story. It was a revealing moment, I thought, harkening back to the adage that the true test of a person's character is what he accomplishes when nobody is watching; believe me, Mariota was working his butt off, sweating through his T-shirt.

(I stepped outside quickly after making sure he'd have a few minutes following the workout to chat. The chance to spy on Mariota's workout, if ever so briefly, and also to connect with him quickly and easily, will be among the primary perks of my new position here in the UO athletic department.)

I hope to — and will — tell a bunch of different stories over the coming months and years. But the starting quarterback on a projected top-five football team seemed like a good place to start.

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