On Friday October 14th 2022 Siaosi Mariner, wide receiver of the CFL’s Ottawa RedBlacks will hit a milestone in his football career. He will be playing in his first ever CFL regular season game.
Coming all the way from Kansas City, Kansas to do so, Mariner has taken a long journey to get to this milestone in his playing career and he is only going to keep going on this journey, and the path he is on. His first football experience was in Orange County, California where he and his family lived for the majority of his childhood, and then his career continued at Tustin High School. At Tustin he played not only on the football team where he made a large impact, but the basketball team as well. As a high school football player he did indeed have some hype to his name, and he tore it up in his senior year, but he still wasn’t as highly recruited as he would have liked, or thought he could be. “Me personally, I felt like I was under recruited.” he said, “I should have had like 50 offers or something like that, but it didn’t go like that for me.”
Mariner kicked off his collegiate career at Utah where he caught passes for the Utes. In 2018, in what was his junior year with Utah, he caught 17 passes for 209 yards and a score. Following that season, in pursuit to make it into the NFL, he entered the transfer portal and joined the instate rivals, the Utah State Aggies. He finished his career with the Utes with 52 receptions for 785 yards and four touchdowns, with a goal to improve at state.
As a senior with the Aggies, catching passes from Jordan Love who is now seen wearing number 10 for the Green Bay Packers, Mariner had the best season yet, solidifying his spot into the pros heading into the draft in April. In that season with Love, he was just 13 yards short of 1,000 yards, gaining a whole 987 yards in the 13 games on 63 catches with 10 touchdowns. The performance alongside one of the most talked about quarterbacks in college football that season set up Mariner very well leading into the NFL Draft, but once the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, things started to go down hill for him and his chances at the NFL. Without an invite to a major bowl game, or a combine invite, his real test for the NFL was going to be at the Utah State pro day with Jordan Love, but that was all cancelled due to Covid-19, and that led coaches at the next level to judge Mariner strictly on game film.
The pandemic made things hard on Mariner and his shot at the NFL, but he was still able to crack a shot at it, getting a contract with the Raiders. Not only did he come out of the pandemic with an opportunity still, but he came out of it better mentally as well. He was able to shine light on his creative side during the shutdowns, and it all set him up for where he is now, a couple professional football opportunities later in Ottawa, with the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks, not only getting ready to play his first CFL game but in the mix of releasing his first ever custom clothing line as well in honour of the city of Ottawa, the capital of Canada.
Talking about that 2020 year, he told JZ Media’s Jordan Zlomislic in an interview about his creative side, and how he began “The Sauce Team” alongside his brother, and what he has in motion for the city. To learn more you can watch the JZ Media interview above.