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A masterful balance for student-athlete Marcus McMaryion

He’s settling into new roles on the field and in the classroom

Marcus McMaryion

Photo by Dave Nishitani

It’s been an exciting year for College of Public Health and Human Sciences’ public health sophomore and OSU Beavers quarterback Marcus McMaryion. He was recently put in as the team’s starting quarterback after two of his teammates suffered injuries. He also changed his major from kinesiology to public health.

Marcus had his first start of the season on Oct. 22 when the Beavers took on the Washington Huskies in Seattle. Although the team lost 41-17, Marcus experienced his first game as the team’s quarterback – and it left lasting impressions.

“I had mixed emotions,” he says. “I was nervous and excited, and I kept reminding myself that it’s just football and I’ve been doing it my whole life so just go out there, have fun and everything else will fall into place.”

With a jammed-packed schedule and pressure to perform on and off the football field, some would wonder how he manages to juggle it all and still find the time to sleep.

“I live my life on a schedule and have to be efficient with my time,” he says. “I know when to study, when I need to practice, when I can sneak in a nap and when I have time to watch movies or do fun things.”

Marcus has been an athlete his whole life, so he’s used to an organized schedule. So much so, he’s a little uncomfortable when too much free time presents itself. For instance, during the spring, there’s a two-week period where the team takes a break from practice and his sole responsibility is school.

“I don’t know what to do with my time during those two weeks we have off of football completely,” he says.

Having free time isn’t a common thing to Marcus, but when he does, he likes to spend it in the great outdoors. “We like to hike and take in the local lookouts, such as Mary’s Peak and Bald Hill,” he says.

Aside from his football career transformation, his time spent in class has also changed. He found it difficult to continue with a kinesiology major because of scheduling conflicts so he switched to public health, a field he’s just as passionate about.

“The classes are super interesting, and I’m enjoying learning about the world environment,” Marcus says. “I am still leaning toward being chiropractor, but there’s a lot of different choices in this major because it’s so broad.”

Marcus has always been an exceptional student. In fact, he was an academic standout during high school, graduating from Dinuba High School in California with a 3.98 GPA.

“I’ve dealt with a lot of ups and downs playing football here at Oregon State,” he says. “Although it can be stressful at times, it’s without a doubt shaped me into the person I am today and I’m thankful for the highs and the lows.”

Marcus McMaryion

Photo by Karl Maasdam

Aside from the academic draw, Marcus was impressed with the family atmosphere former Beavers head coach Mike Riley and current head coach Gary Andersen, academic advisors and athletic advisors foster at OSU.

“I could tell that Oregon State wasn’t like a lot of the other schools in that they actually care what you do after football,” he says. “Some of the other schools just want you to win and don’t care about what you do outside, but Oregon State was recruiting guys with character who were going to do well in school. That was what ultimately attracted me to want to come to here.”

He’s also glad he went with OSU because he loves Corvallis’ small town vibe.

“I’m going on my third year here in Corvallis and I just love it,” he says. “I am from Dinuba, which is a small town right outside of Fresno, Calif., and the community aspect that Corvallis provides is just great. It’s like being back at home, and I fit in perfectly.”