The Washington State Cougars are getting a little recognition nationally as Mike Leach takes them into year three and Athlon Sports has named three of the 2014 Cougs to their preseason All-Pac-12 list. But this isn’t about the
Darryl Monroe and Xavier Cooper are penciled in at the linebacker and defensive tackle (end) on the 3rd teams, while Vince Mayle makes an appearance as the only offensive player on the four team list. No complaints from us there, however there are a couple serious omissions from the group that make me wonder what was going on here.
For example at quarterback Connor Halliday is left off the list, while the four quarterbacks that make the cut are Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley, Taylor Kelly and Sean Mannion. I’m good with the first three, but at Mannion one of my eyebrows raises, because without a certain someone (first round pick Brandon Cooks) running around and catching everything thrown in the air for him he will not be the quarterback that he was last year.
Meanwhile the Cougar-slinger returns basically his entire core of wide receivers and ended last season with over 4,500 yards and 34 touchdowns. Both are Cougar records, which Athlon shouldn’t and doesn’t necessarily care about, but this offense is set to explode. The only thing I can think is that they have question about his turnovers. I guess we do too, but if he cuts those down it’s tough not to see him as the most prolific single-season quarterback in Pac-10/12 history after the season.
Another egregious miss by Athlon is the omission of Gabe Marks at receiver. This kid led the Cougs in receiving last season. In fact he nearly doubled Vince Mayle’s 42 catches for 539 yards with 74 grabs for 807 yards, though they did tie with seven touchdowns apiece. Really just not sure how he got left off the list. Chris Harper from Cal and Kasen Williams from Washington make the list, though I think they are suspect as candidates before Marks.
I guess stats are a little discounted because of the Mike Leach offense? Who knows, but at any rate it’s nice to see a few make the list.