Stats: 49 Receptions, 560 receiving yards, 2 TD’s
What he accomplished in 2012: Gabe Marks played in all 12 games as a true freshman in 2012. As a 4 star recruit, something new to WSU over the last few years, expectations for him were on the high side and he didn’t disappoint early on.
After starting the first two games on the outside, Marks was moved to the Y slot for most of the season. He thrived through the first 2 games as the Y receiver with 13 catches, 233 yards and his only 2 TD’s of the year.
After that however his production slipped as the team entered the heart of the Pac-12 schedule. The strain of Pac-12 competition may have had an impact on Marks’ performance though he wasn’t the only player to see his stat’s slide. The team’s offensive execution struggled for the rest of the year against quality Pac-12 teams.
Coach Leach praised his intelligence of the position and his understanding of the offense, 2012 was a good start for the freshman wide receiver.
What I expect in 2013: With the influx of wide receiver talent its hard to predict positions before the end of spring practice. In our earlier write up on Receiver Depth, Joshua listed Gabe as the Z receiver I personally think he stays in the Y slot with Mayle starting as the Z receiver, nevertheless having talented depth is a good problem to have .
Regardless of where he starts, he will start in 2013 and at 6’0 and 167 pounds, I would like to see him add 10 or more pounds of bulk in the off season. If he is in the Y, he will take a lot of hits going across the middle and his ability to stay on the field for the Cougars will be essential in 2013.
I expect Gabe Marks’ production to go up in his sophomore season as the offense should be more proficient in the Air Raid, giving him more opportunities to make plays. But the Air Raid by design is meant to find the open receiver in the zone. This gives the QB more options and with more options comes more distribution. The numbers Marks’ put up in 2012 are on par with the numbers past non number 1 receivers have put up in Mike Leach’s offense.
Expect better production but unless Marks set’s himself apart from the other wide receivers a 1,000 yard season might be hard to come by.