The quarterback of the number two ranked Ducks gave a nod to the Polynesian community during his emotional and tears-filled acceptance speech.
“To the Polynesian community, I hope and pray this is only the beginning,” said Mariota. “To Polynesian athletes everywhere, you should take this as motivation and dream big and strive for greatness.”
After his acceptance speech, a reporter asked who he was addressing in his acceptance.
“I really wanted to emphasize kids of Polynesian descent and kids from Hawaii,” said Mariota. “So many times you know on Hawaii were told that we don’t have some of the main opportunities that mainland kids do. I just want people back home to realize that you can take your opportunity and make the most of it. I can be an example of that.”
You can watch his entire four minute acceptance speech in the clip below from ESPN.
It was one of the most heartfelt acceptance speeches I’ve heard. Mariota showed quite a lot of character in his speech. Its one that should be played to young athletes every where.