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Mariota, still healing from injury, not sure if he’ll throw at NFL Combine

Dave Reardon
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The Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie opened a new Polynesian Hall of Fame exhibit on Saturday. Pictured at the opening is 2014 Heisman Winner Marcus Mariota who was also named Polynesian College Football Player of the Year.

Marcus Mariota said he is undecided on whether he’ll throw at the upcoming NFL Combine as he waits for an injury from the final game of his college career to heal.

"Right now we’re still making that decision, whether to throw at the Combine. I had to kinda rest about a week-and-a-half," Mariota said, speaking at a press conference Saturday in Laie, where he was being honored as the first Polynesian College Football Player of the Year. "I sprained the AC joint (in his right, throwing, shoulder). But now, I’m able to throw. Feels good."

The Combine is Feb. 17-23. Mariota is expected to be a high first-round choice when the NFL starts its draft April 30.

The Oregon quarterback from Honolulu and Saint Louis School is in the islands this weekend and made his first public appearance in Hawaii at the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame enshrinement weekend since winning the Heisman Trophy last month and leading the Ducks to the national championship game Jan. 12.

Mariota sat out a play late in the 42-20 loss to Ohio State after he was driven hard to the ground by Buckeyes defensive lineman Joey Bosa, landing on his right shoulder.

The PFHOF opened the doors Saturday to its gallery at the Polynesian Cultural Center and inducted its second class of enshrines that includes Luther Elliss, Russ Francis, Jesse Sapolu, Ray Schoenke, Mosi Tatupu and Mark Tuinei.

"I had an opportunity to go to the Senior Bowl," Mariota said. "But as a family we decided it was best to come here and be a part of this.

"Being able to meet all these men is pretty remarkable. They paved the way for me and Polynesian athletes everywhere. For us, it’s really just saying, ‘Thank you.’"

Mariota is training with Kevin O’Connell and Ryan Flaherty of Prolific Athletes in San Diego. He will also participate in Oregon’s Pro Day in March.

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