During the tearful speech Saturday night, the soft-spoken quarterback — who beat out Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper and Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon — also thanked his coaches including Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly.
"Coach (Mark) Helfrich, coach (Scott) Frost, and coach (Chip) Kelly," Mariota said,"thank you for the opportunity. You took a chance on me, and I am truly grateful."
That shout-out — or whisper-out, if you please — has already started speculation that the Eagles might try to move up to get him in the 2015 NFL Draft.
The link between Kelly and Mariota, who were together for one full season during their days at Oregon, has Eagles fans dreaming of the perfect replacement of Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez in running Kelly's offensive attack.
And, earlier this week, Kelly took time out from preparing for Sunday night's showdown with the Cowboys to heap plenty of praise on his former player and stoke the fire.
"He has a gift for playing football," Kelly said of Mariota. "He is everything you could want. He can throw the ball, he can run. He is the most talented kid I coached in college."
Could next year's most prized player in the NFL Draft go from being a Duck to an Eagle? It's a long shot — but one worth thinking about.
Here's Mariota's acceptance speech: