Biography: Two-year starting receiver who also made his mark as a punt returner. All-Conference and All-America selection as a senior after posting 80/1479/13 at receiver while averaging 15.8 yards on 32 punt returns, adding one score. Junior totals included 1308 receiving yards. Also average 18.2 yards on punt returns.
Positives: Tough, sure-handed pass catcher with a complete game. Quickly releases off the line, shows sharpness into pass routes and stays low on exit. Comes back to the ball, makes himself an available target, and always catches the ball away from his frame. Displays a sense of awareness, always on the same page as his quarterback, and lays out to make the difficult reception. Always finds a way to get separation from defenders and easily makes the reception in stride, goes up in a crowd for the ball and makes the tough catch with defenders draped on him. Shows great field awareness, which he uses as a punt returner, picking and choosing his way through the coverage teams.
Negatives: One-speed receiver who cannot stretch the field. Possesses adequate size yet would not be classified as a large possession wide out.
Analysis: Mariani has been a terrific player for Montana the past three seasons. He could make it on a roster as a fifth receiver and his skills as a punt returner are added value.
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