The Washington State Cougars are fast closing now on their season opener against Rutgers, but for much of Fall camp one critical name has gone unnoticed and unheard, WSU’s leading receiver Gabe Marks.
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Marks hauled in a team-high 74 receptions for 807 yards and tied a team high with 7 touchdown receptions. The next closest player in receptions was Marcus Mason with 52 and yards was Dom Williams with 647, so it’s been kind of a big deal not hearing the junior’s name. I guess the question of the hour is; what’s up with Marks?
The answer is that he’s been limited for much of the Fall to this point and it’s a little unclear whether he has simply been injured or is in the Mike Leach doghouse at this point for effort reasons. The one thing that is absolutely clear though, is that he has been severely outplayed to this point this preseason.
Both Kristoff Williams and Isiah Myers have had tremendous roles on offense and are making it nearly impossible for Marks to make up the difference in the final 8 days but there’s no doubt he’ll get plenty of targets this season. Gabe had a terrific day on Tuesday, hauling in some really long throws and getting the old swag back. It was against the second team and scout team defenses, but there’s something to be said for the burst that he displayed because it simply hasn’t been there.
With some interesting (perhaps controversial) statements about a week or so ago on the “grind” and “get through it” aspect of Fall camp, Marks’ effort has definitely been questioned by Cougar fans recently. So it’s not a huge surprise that Mike Leach has been pretty non-committal when talking about one of his star receivers, saying that it’s at “wait-and-see” status to see if he will finally make the move off scout team sometime this upcoming week.
We’ll see how it all shakes out, but I think once the season gets going Marks will find his stride and once again be a huge part of the offense. After all, he’s always been one of the hardest workers on the team, though recently he’s been in a funk. Hopefully that all changed on Tuesday.