Sometimes, NFL players just fit with the city they’re drafted to. Tony Romo had the look of a Cowboys quarterback. Odell Beckham belongs in the bright lights of New York. Marshawn Lynch was not meant to live in Buffalo.
Marcus Mariota is in only his third season with the Titans, but it feels like a perfect fit.
“I’m very fortunate,” Mariota said in a 2016 interview. “Eugene was a special place, and Nashville reminds me a lot of both Hawaii and Oregon … I’ve been very fortunate to have [Nashville] cross my path, and I look forward to spending a lot of time there.”
Kiyomi Cook has been by Mariota’s side for the entire NFL journey, starting with the day he was drafted. The couple started in downtown Nashville, where Mariota purchased a three-bedroom condo in a luxury apartment. He’s since moved into a house, though it’s unknown if he still possess the condo to accommodate visiting family and friends.
He and Cook have settled into the city, though as of last year they hadn’t done much exploring.
“A lot of times I’m just kind of hanging around the house,” he told The Tennessean. “We don’t have a whole lot of (free) time, but I went down on Broadway for a little bit, just to hang out at some of the — like Acme and I think it’s called Tootsies. Anyway, we kind of just got to see Broadway a little bit and heard a lot of music at the country bars. It was a lot of fun. … We’re still kind of exploring.”
Mariota couldn’t do much exploring last summer, as his leg was in an aircast recovering from a fractured fibula. Cook and his parents were essential to his recovery and mental health during his rehabilitation. Cook, like Mariota, majored in human physiology at Oregon.
Now that Mariota is healed and the couple has settled, hopefully we can learn more about Cook in the near future. Unlike most NFL personalities, Mariota and his family keep their personal lives relatively private. Cook is living with Mariota in Nashville, and working as a soccer coach at the University School of Nashville.
And when we say made a home, we literally say made a home. Mariota and Cook are active in their community, and helped build a new house in Nashville with Habitat for Humanity in 2016.
“I just like being a part of the community and this is a great way to get involved,” said Marcus Mariota, who was at the build with not only Cook but his parents. “We have some free time in the offseason and this is a good way to spend it. I got to meet the family when we started working and it’s all about giving them a roof over their heads and I’m happy to be part of that.”
Mariota makes his playoff debut against the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday.