Marquess Wilson has been the talk of the town, this week, not the same as always. Of course he walked out of a workout Sunday evening and was suspended indefinitely (at least for this week’s game against UCLA, possibly longer) by Mike Leach. Reports from sources had surfaced immediately and have since been confirmed that MQW cleaned out his locker and prematurely quit the program as of Monday. He hasn’t exactly been ‘received’ with open arms and a guaranteed spot in the new regime, as all these players have dealt with. It finally came to a boiling point Sunday, after the shellacking by Utah the day before.
Wilson’s fallout began in the Spring, when Leach and Co. came in with expectations never experienced by these players. None of the players have fully lived up to those lofty expectations and Marquess has maybe been at the forefront of the coaches criticism’s. It’s because he’s the most heralded player in the program and his success has led to him being over exposed. Obviously, even though he had straightened it out and earned his coaches respects, he hasn’t handled the pressure or the expectations well and in the past couple weeks had once again slipped into a bit of irrelevancy on the depth chart, even with Isiah Myers on the shelf. It’s up to us to remember Wilson is not even 3 years out of high school. Not all young men are able to do it, handle the pressure when everything is expected and results are waning. In fact, most aren’t able, without help.
Wilson went to Bill Moos for that help on Tuesday, that sanity in a crazy and lackluster season that has turned to a minor disaster in his career. Moos has been a constant during Wilson’s career at WSU and had a hand in bringing Wilson to Pullman. He has the rep of being an A.D. who loves his players as much, if not more-so than his coaches, so it made sense for Marquess to come here to get help. According to Moos, the talk was stern in the sense of tough love, before a hug was exchanged and Wilson was told to come back and revisit the situation with a new perspective next week.
When you quit a college team, it’s not like you can just walk away from everything and start over. School is still in play and everyday life as a student goes on, so this is an opportunity for Wilson to weigh his options while getting away from football for a few days. Bill Moos implored Wilson to stay in shape and watch the festivities Saturday night, as his teammates take on the Bruins. It’s worth noting that Wilson has never really had to just watch his team play without him (that I can remember), so this will be a new perspective indeed.
We’ll see how he responds to the situation and then hopefully he gets his mind right and can reenter the good graces of his coaches. He’s so incredibly talented and has a terrific future at his fingertips, if he decided to apply himself to it. Contrary to probably some mindsets right now, nobody knows that and wants to exploit his talents for the right reasons more than Mike Leach. This is a reminder that nobody is ok with losing and frustration is setting into the team right now as they try and balance not quite turning the corner with keeping players on board.