Marcus Mariota, the Oregon quarterback drafted by the Tennessee Titans with the No. 2 overall pick in the recent NFL Draft, credits playing soccer with influencing the way he plays American football. "I think soccer is a great fundamental sport -- I think it built a foundation for me as an athlete," Mariota told Nashville, Tennessee radio station WGFX-FM, as ESPN reported. "Whether that's my footwork now, or relative to just kind of seeing the field and instincts."
The 21-year-old quarterback from Honolulu said soccer has helped him develop as an athlete. "I think soccer is just such a game where you have to understand the complexities and the system of what's going on, and you have to know that before you get the ball. And once you get the ball, you have to react. I think that has helped my growth not only as a football player but as an athlete," the 21-year-old added.
Titans quarterbacks coach John McNulty was impressed with Mariota’s balance and poise while throwing on the move during the club's organized team activities. Mariota, who was the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, accumulated 10,796 passing yards on 779 of 1,167 completions with 1o5 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in a three-year college career at Oregon.