The news of WSU star wide receiver Marquess Wilson’s absence has been buzzing around Pullman for over a day now and students/fans are still in confusion and shock. According to WSU Head Football Coach Mike Leach, Wilson has been suspended this week for walking out on a team workout, Sunday night. Other sources such as Cougfan.com say that Wilson has officially emptied out his locker and has quit the WSU football team. Entering the 2012 football season, Wilson was projected to be drafted in the 1st round of the NFL Draft, but those expectations have gone down the drain. The 6’4″, 185 pound wide receiver has had his struggles this season with multiple dropped passes, and only catching 5 touchdowns so far this season. Let me just make it clear, that Marquess Wilson has the talent and the potential to be an elite wide receiver and a 1st round NFL Draft pick, it’s his attitude that is holding him back.
In my opinion, I am not surprised that Wilson walked out on his team just because he wasn’t getting his way. When Paul Wulff was the head coach at WSU, Wilson was given the throne already and wasn’t pushed to work even harder. Of course Wilson had his success and talent, but you could tell it would get to his head, entering this season when the talks of the NFL would surround him. Personally I agree 100% with Mike Leach on how he had handled the whole Marquess Wilson situation, which has dated back to the spring. Leach’s philosophy is competing, which means that no matter how good you are, you have to earn it.
I don’t remember Leach ever saying that Wilson was the best player on the team, or the “go-to guy”. Leach’s goal is to make you a better player and if want to get to the next level, you’re going to have to work for it. A quote that would apply to this situation would be, “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work.” This showed when Marquess Wilson lost his starting job to WSU wide receiver Dominique Williams two weeks ago. Apparently the workout was the final straw for Wilson, and we are still in confusion to whether Wilson quit the team or will serve his suspension.
If Wilson decides to take his talents somewhere else, WSU won’t lose that much. Talent is what you want on your football team, but what separates most teams from being talented to elite is chemistry. Wilson failed to show leadership on the sidelines to his teammates and instead cared about himself. He was happy and energetic when he scored, but showed no emotion in any other aspect. In order to become a successful team, every player needs to be on the same page and be committed to winning, not themselves. Mike Leach is one of the best college coaches of our generation, and one talented player isn’t going to break this team. Leach will continue to work his offensive magic and get the “boys” ready for Saturday against UCLA at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN 2. Hopefully Wilson gets his act together and realizes he is jeopardizing his reputation and future as a football player and rejoins the team with a new mindset.
Here is a link to the video of yesterday’s press conference:
-Evan Baron (Follow me on twitter @BaselineBaron09)