Prior to Marcus Mariota's 2014 Heisman Trophy winning season, FCA Magazine traveled to Eugene, Ore., to interview the Oregon Ducks quarterback about his faith, how it translates onto the field as he goes “All In” for Christ and his team, and what God has taught him during his time as a Duck.
"Going 'All In’ for God is glorifying Him with the abilities He’s given us and shining our light for Him.” - Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota
FCA: How is your faith a part of you being a football player?
MM: Being a football player, faith plays a huge role. When things start to get rough you find comfort in your faith. Knowing that no matter what, you can dust yourself off and be okay. And you know you do it for [God’s] glory. You do it for your teammates, your family, but also for His glory and to represent His name.
FCA: Through the ups and downs of a season, how do you feel like your faith strengthens you?
MM: Going through the challenges of the season, my faith has been the steadying force that’s pushed me, along with my family, my friends and my teammates. Losing–especially here [at Oregon]–is tough. We have high expectations as a program to go and win national championships. It’s a huge pressure, but you learn a lot about yourself through it. Coach [Scott] Frost has helped me learn that football doesn’t define me. It’s just what I do. That was a huge life lesson for me. I really took that and ran with it. My faith is what keeps me going and I can always grow in that.
FCA: What comes to mind when you think about going “All In” for Christ?
MM: I think as an athlete when you’re able to go out there and have the abilities that the Lord has blessed you with, you want to glorify Him. You want to go out there to represent Him in the right light. To represent your family in the right light and to do that through His power.
FCA: How has FCA impacted your faith while at Oregon?
MM: FCA allows athletes to find a family away from home. You’re able to bond through your faith, as well as the difficult times in sports. We relate to each other as athletes and grow in our faith and as human beings.
FCA: What has God taught you about yourself while at Oregon?
MM: Since I’ve been here at Oregon, I think my faith has grown tremendously. In high school, I learned about God and Jesus Christ, but I wasn’t really invested in it. I think coming here I got involved with FCA and [FCA’s] Tony [Overstake] and it really introduced me into my walk and into my journey. I’m not perfect, but I’m encouraged everyday to continue to open up in my faith.
I’ve learned that no matter what, my faith will guide me. However I play on the field, I know my faith will guide me. After sports, my faith will guide me. As I’ve grown in my faith, that’s something that’s given me comfort. God has taught me that I can trust in Him. No matter what–whether things are good or bad–I know I can always trust in Him. And that has really allowed me to go All In for Him.
(Photos courtesy of Eric Evans, Oregon Athletics)