Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota's trophy shelf is likely to get awfully crowded this month, and the first to claim a spot is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. Although the award's official web site indicates the award won't be presented until Dec. 12, the Baltimore Sun published a video announcing that Mariota had won the honor over Mississippi State's Dak Prescott, UCLA's Brett Hundley, USC's Cody Kessler and Baylor's Bryce Petty.
John Unitas Jr., president of the Johnny Unitas Educational Foundation and Golden Arm Award, said Mariota was selected for his character and integrity, among other off-field factors, along with being one of the nation's elite passers. Mariota is considered a frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, as well, after leading the Ducks to a berth in the inaugural College Football Playoff.
In 13 games this season, Mariota has passed for 3,783 yards and 38 touchdowns with only two interceptions. He's completed better than 68 percent of his passes, and collected seven 300-yard passing games this year, including three in a row to close the year. Mariota is also a finalist for the Manning Award, the Walter Camp Award, the Maxwell Award and the Davey O'Brien Award.
Mariota, a fourth-year junior, will decide after the season whether to enter the 2015 NFL Draft as an underclassman. The deadline to file for early draft eligibility is Jan. 15. He will face defending national champion Florida State, opposite defending Heisman winner Jameis Winston, in a national semifinal Jan. 1 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.