Having a degree in hand will take a lot of the pressure off the program’s star, who plans to take a lighter load of courses this fall. Captaining the Ducks as a college graduate will also make Mariota’s parents, Toa and Alana, even more proud.
“It’s definitely a relief,” Mariota said. “I’m going to have an opportunity to really focus on football and not necessarily worry about my studies as much. …
“To get my degree, it was something as a family we decided this is what I went to school for. We wanted to finish what we started.”
■ Mike Merrell talks about the impact Devon Allen might have on the football team this year.
Somehow, I believe defensive coordinators will think twice about crowding the line of scrimmage to stop Byron Marshall, Thomas Tyner and Marcus Mariota from running, while leaving some relatively lead-footed cornerback on an island against Allen. If they don’t think twice, there is one Duck that is going to be doing a lot of pushups.