<
>

Marcus Mariota: 'Very happy, very blessed to be here'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Marcus Mariota shined in all different versions of Oregon green. But with a Tennessee Titans jersey in his hands Friday night in Nashville, he said he's always liked navy blue.

Mariota's visit is short. He took a red-eye flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles on Friday and then connected to Nashville. The Titans introduced him shortly after they selected Oklahoma receiver Dorial Green-Beckham in the second round.

The Heisman Trophy winner then will turn around Friday night and head for Eugene, Oregon, where he promised a friend he'd attend the Ducks' spring game.

"We've got a nice little to-go package for him," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "That's the beauty of the iPads."

Mariota's parents, Toa and Alana, were with him, and he spoke of his grandfather's sister and her family, who live in Nashville.

He offered the traditional, bright talk of a player just brought into the NFL.

"Pressure to me is when you're not prepared," he said confidently. "I'm prepared for this moment."

Somewhere during his preparation, he spoke to San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers, who played in 2013 under Whisenhunt, then the Chargers' offensive coordinator. Rivers told Mariota he'd enjoy the transition to professional football under Whisenhunt if he got the chance to take on the project.

"It's surreal," Mariota said. "A lot of excitement. To walk into the locker room, to see your name up on the locker was really cool for me. I'm just very, very happy and very blessed to be here."

Mariota will be back in Nashville with the rookie class May 11.

That class now includes Utah offensive tackle Jeremiah Poutasi, whom the Titans selected in the third round.

"Man, I am excited to block for that guy," Poutasi said of Mariota. "It's an honor to be on his team."