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By winning the Heisman Trophy, Marcus Mariota—an Asian Pacific American of Polynesian descent—is the best college football player in the land.

This wasn’t the math contest, the quiz team, or the science competition.

This was big time college football.

Mariota, a redshirt junior quarterback from Oregon via St. Louis Prep, the Catholic boys school in Honolulu, became the first ever to win from Hawaii.

And the first ever Heisman recipient to say “Thank you” in Samoan.

In his breathless, teary eyed acceptance speech, he thanked his coaches, teachers and his parents, Toa Mariota and Alana Deppe-Mariota.

The 6-foot-4, 219-pound Mariota also thanked what he called his St. Louis brotherhood for keeping him “always mindful and faithful.”

He thanked friends for teaching him “humility and respect.” At that point, Mariota choked up, regained composure and added: “Two aspects of life I will never change.”

Not even when he signs his first multi-million-dollar NFL contract?

Mariota proves you don’t have to be a brutish lout to be a killer football player. This is a mature young man filled with goodness and humanity.