Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly recruited Marcus Mariota and coached him in his first season as a starter at Oregon.
Mariota is now the No. 1 prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft, and he’s widely expected to win the Heisman Trophy.
On Thursday, Kelly gushed about Mariota at a press conference.
He said he knew he’d win a Heisman since he was a freshman:
I had nothing to do with Marcus’ [development]. When he was a freshman, I remarked, ‘This kid is going to win the Heisman.’ He’s a special young man and he’s a hell of a football player and he deserves it. But I don’t think it’s any impact that I had. The type of kid that he is, he had an impact on everybody that had an opportunity to coach him. I’m sure [Oregon Head Coach] Mark Helfrich and [Oregon offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach] Scott Frost would tell you the same thing. He’s just a special young man and very deserving of the award.
He called him the most talented player he ever coached at the college level:
He’s just got a gift for playing football. He’s everything you want: he can throw the ball, he can run. He’s the most talented kid that I coached in college.
Mariota is the most heavily hyped quarterback since Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III in 2012. Only one QB was taken in the top-10 in 2013 and 2014, Blake Bortles, and that was a minor shock. The Jets, Raiders, Jaguars, Buccaneers, and Titans are all tied for the worst record in the NFL at 2-11. The Jaguars and Raiders both drafted quarterbacks in 2014. If either of them got the No. 1 pick, there could be a bidding war to get Mariota.
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