In its 80th year, the Heisman Memorial Trophy is Hawaii-bound after Saint Louis School graduate Marcus Mariota was awarded the iconic bronze statue today on national TV.

The University of Oregon quarterback won the award, symbolic of being the nation's top college football player, over two other finalists -- Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper and Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon -- in balloting by more than 900 voters.

"You dream about the Heisman, every player does, but to actually receive it is a real dream come true," Mariota said. "I feel blessed and honored."

Mariota is the first player from Hawaii, and the first for the University of Oregon, to win the award.

Being presented the trophy by the 2005 recipient, former USC quarterback Matt Leinart, was special, Mariota said, "because I grew up watching him play and I grew up a big USC fan. It meant a lot."

Mariota, who didn't start until his senior season in high school for the Crusaders, said he never could have imagined a Heisman while backing up Jeremy Higgins as a sophomore and junior.

"Not at all," Mariota said. "When I was at Saint Louis my main focus was to get on the field. That it has come all the way to this point has been a special journey and I've been very blessed."

He said he hoped the honor would inspire other players in Hawaii "to reach for greatness."