By Andrew Porter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Chip Kelly doesn’t often gush about players, but he certainly isn’t shy expressing his love for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. On Saturday, Mariota won college football’s prestigious Heisman Trophy award with 95-percent of the votes.

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But, will Mariota translate into a successful NFL player?

“I think Marcus will be successful whether he’s an NFL player, a banker, a teacher, a fireman, a policeman,” Kelly said Monday on the 94WIP Morning Show. “I’ve said it before about some other players, but if you can buy stock in a human being, you buy stock in that kid because he’ll always be successful in anything he does.”

Listen to Chip Kelly on the 94WIP Morning Show:

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Kelly had the opportunity to coach the Honolulu born 21-year-old QB during his first two seasons at Oregon. In 2012 under Kelly’s guidance, Mariota became the first freshman quarterback to start a season for Oregon in 22 seasons.

Mariota led the Ducks to 12-1 record and No. 2 overall ranking that season, while being named the Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year and earning the 2013 Fiesta Bowl Offensive MVP Award.

“I felt lucky that I had an opportunity to coach a young man like that,” Kelly said of Mariota. “When you listen to his [Heisman Trophy] acceptance speech (watch here), I think it’s maybe a sliver of what we got the chance to experience every day to be around him. He’s a special young man. I know I’m better person for being associated with him.”


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