For the first time since 1991, the Oregon Ducks will start a freshman at quarterback with coach Chip Kelly's Friday announcement that Marcus Mariota will lead the defending Pac-12 champions this season.
While there's no doubting Mariota's explosiveness, there could still be some growing pains along the way as the 6'4, 196-pound signal-caller learns on the go. Still, it seems from most individuals' reactions that the Ducks fan base is on board, or at least should be, with Kelly's decision. Here's some of the highlights from Josh Schlichter's story on the decision from Pacific Takes:
"Mariota, in many circles close to the team, is regarded as the future of Chip Kelly's offense, and a perfect player to lead the Ducks out of the post James-Thomas era. Mariota has already showcased an advanced understanding of Oregon's passing tree and running game, and possesses the physical ability to surpass Darron Thomas's success through the air and on the ground... Duck fans can rest assured that their offense is in good hands for the next 3-4 years."
Doesn't sound too shabby, right?