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Inner Strength: Marcus Mariota Prepares for the Next Level

Marcus Mariota is preparing for the next chapter of his football life as a professional amid swirling speculation that he will be selected early in the first round of this year's draft.

Widely respected for his speed bursting out of the pocket, and the quality of his decision-making with ball-in-hand, Mariota is clearly a world-class athlete who is constantly training to improve his overall athleticism. At the core of his approach is training to transform weaknesses into strengths.

“My training is focused on just taking it one day at a time and finding new ways to improve myself - physically and mentally. By observing the weaknesses that I have, and working hard on those in training to make those into strengths, I give myself the best opportunity to succeed,” said Mariota.

Mariota was the University of Oregon Ducks starting quarterback from 2012 to 2014. Capping a remarkable career, that garnered many awards and accolades, Mariota became the first Ducks player and Hawaii-born athlete to ever win the Heisman Trophy (2014) and was named the Offensive MVP of the 2015 Rose Bowl game.

Inspired by a lifelong dream to play professional football at the highest level, and motivated by the love and support of a close-knit group of family and friends, Mariota is laser focused on making his mark at the next level in his sport. The next remarkable chapter in a life defined by relentless effort and incredible focus begins. Whatever his fate, Mariota’s training investment prepares him for the challenges at the next level.

“My focus and training effort is driven at its core by a passion for the game. For the love of the game. That's what motivates me to train so hard or go out there and play at the best of my abilities - because that's really who I am and what I’m about. It’s the game I love.”

To help make Mariota the best prospect he can be, the quarterback works intensely with Nike trainer Ryan Flaherty. Widely revered as a training guru for prospects and professionals, Flaherty has worked with hundreds of elite athletes and considers Mariota to be one of the very best athletically. 

Flaherty comments, “Marcus is as hard of a worker as I’ve been around and he does not shy away from hard work, he actually asks for it! I think one thing that's going to separate him from the rest is that his work ethic matches his talent. A lot of times you see guys that don’t make it. They have talent but the work ethic doesn’t match. With Marcus they’re equal and that's why he’ll become successful.”




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Inner Strength Documentary Series

This is the second installment of a documentary series that captures the inspiration, and motivations that drive Nike athletes in their training. Their journeys vary as do their goals, but they share a common obsession with athleticism.