It is not clear who the top prospect in Hawaii will be in 2011, but one of the candidates is a quarterback who did not even start for his varsity squad in 2009. St. Louis School prospect Marcus Mariota sat behind Utah State signee Jeremy Higgins on the depth chart last year, but the 6-feet-4, 185 pound prospect is ready to show off his skills.
Mariota will compete at the Los Angeles Camp later this month. In February, Mariota posted very good number's at the Honolulu NIKE combine- running a 4.71 40, and a 4.28 pro-shuttle.
"I just want to be able to work hard, and prove my skills to coaches and people like you [Rivals.com]," Mariota said. "I think my strength is my ability to improvise when the play starts to crumble. I am pretty active, and a lot of times I let my athleticism take over."
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In cleanup action, Mariota proved to be very productive for the St. Louis Crusaders. For example, against Word of Life Academy, Mariota completed ten of 15 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns, and added 34 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown.
The Memphis Tigers have already seen enough, coming through with Mariota's first scholarship offer.
"My JV head coach threw my name out to coach [Larry] Porter," Mariota said. "They liked how I played, they sent me a letter and told me they are going to try their best to get me to Memphis. Coach Porter and the staff were really nice."
Mariota excels in the classroom as well. He carries a 3.75 GPA, and is interested in studying sports therapy.
"I am looking for a good campus like, a school with good academics, and somewhere I can fit in and excel," Mariota said. "The University of Washington and Oregon are high on my list. And USC too. I like Memphis, the situation over there with coach Porter, they have given me new insight on east coast schools because quite frankly I was not going to look past the west coast. But they convinced me to look past the west coast and consider schools out there."
Mariota said Notre Dame and Colorado are sending letters as well. He hopes a big performance at the Los Angeles NIKE camp will help energize his recruitment. But, a big senior season remains top priority.
"Every year at St. Louis, we look to win a state title. That is what we are looking to do this year. We are all working hard this offseason to come back strong."