Marcus Mariota & Nicole Watase: 5 Facts You Need to Know

Heisman winner Marcus Mariota is one of the most talked-about players in football as he prepares for his first season with the Tennessee Titans after being taken second overall in the 2015 draft.

Yet Mariota has kept a low profile off the field, avoiding social media and not talking much about his personal life.

The Oregon quarterback said on a Pac 12 Network podcast in October that he was single and not looking to get into a relationship.

But earlier in his career in Eugene, Mariota was dating Nicole Watase, a fellow Oregon student who had been with Mariota since the two went to junior prom together in their native Honolulu.

Here’s what we know about the Heisman winner and his high school sweetheart:


1. The 2 Met When Watase Was a Cheerleader for Mariota’s High School Team

Watase went to Sacred Hearts Academy, an all-girls Catholic school in Honolulu where she was a cheerleader and wrestler.

The cheerleaders at Sacred Hearts cheer at football games for Saint Louis High School, where Mariota was a standout quarterback and Hawaii’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior.

As Watase’s mom, Karen, told Midweek in 2012, Mariota and Watase met when Watase was cheering on Mariota and his teammates.

From the article:

“Marcus took Nicole to his junior prom, and they’ve pretty much been together ever since,” says her mother Karen Watase, a former MidWeek employee. “And then his senior year, he was the quarterback and she was cheerleading for Sacred Hearts, which cheers for Saint Louis, so they have this classic, sweet storybook thing.

“He’s such a polite, respectful young man, any parent who has a daughter would be happy to have him dating their daughter.”

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2. Watase Is a Former Model

AsianPlayers.com reported that Watase was part of Premier Models and Talent, an elite service in Hawaii that represents the state’s top models and actors.

According to AsianPlayers.com, Watase’s profile listed her as being 5-foot-3 with a 23-inch waist, 34-inch hips and 32-inch bust.


3. Watase Also Attends Oregon

Watase is a student at Oregon, where Busted Coverage reports she’s enrolled as a pre-marine biology major.

The two were still dating in 2012, when Mariota was a redshirt freshman in his first year as the Ducks starting quarterback.

From Midweek:

While his family had to return to Honolulu after a short visit, one aspect of home has moved closer. His high school sweetheart Nicole Watase, a recent graduate of Sacred Hearts, just started her freshman year at Oregon. Asked if he would mind her being mentioned in this story, he shakes his head, smiles.

“Not at all, I love her to death. She’s here now and I’m happy she’s here. She’s the one, after the Washington State game, I was pretty sore, and she helped work out the kinks,” he says, making a massaging motion.


4. Mariota Said Earlier This Year He Wasn’t Looking for a Relationship

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota was named the 80th winner of the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night. (Getty)

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota was named the 80th winner of the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night. (Getty)

Mariota’s dating life came up in October, when he discussed it with Mike Yam and Rick Neuheisel on their Pac 12 Network podcast.

The hosts asked Mariota about the attention he gets from girls at Oregon the 29-minute mark. Here’s how he responded:

I’m single. I’m not looking to get into a relationship any time soon, but obviously it’s a lot of fun to be able to meet people and go through life and experience college.


5. Mariota Doesn’t Want People to Know What He’s Doing ’24-7′

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota on Dating, life in Hawaii, Social Media & MoreOregon gridirongirl gets infront of the camera for the first time to interview Oregon Quarterback and Heisman hopeful, Marcus Mariota who opens up about life in Hawaii, social media, dating and more…2014-08-30T19:34:31.000Z

Mariota has gone out of his way to stay out of the spotlight during his rise to the top of the college football world.

He has no active social media accounts and has kept almost everything about his personal life private.

He shed a little bit of light on what he likes to do for fun in an August interview with Gridiron Girl, which you can watch above.

Here’s what Mariota had to say about his lack of social media activity:

Social media is something that people use to either brand themselves or get in trouble with. Personally, I don’t want people knowing what I’m doing 24-7 or I don’t really like people seeing pictures of me, of what I’ve been doing. For me, I like to live kind of a low-key, private life, and to have no social media is kind of the way to do that.


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Editor’s note: A previous version of this post identified Watase as Mariota’s girlfriend. The two are no longer together.