Washington State hasn’t had much to feel good about the last few years. Their football team has been stuck at the bottom of the conference for years and the attendance at Martin Stadium has been slipping since the glory days of the early 2000s. Things look to get turned around with the hiring of Mike Leach, who brings a wide open, exciting offense to Pullman as the Cougars look to regain some legitimacy in the Pac 12. Leach represents a Renaissance on the Palouse, and nobody is poised to reap the benefits more than standout wide receiver Marquess Wilson.
Wilson was the most explosive member of the Cougars offense in 2011, making a name for himself as one of the country’s top wideouts. Last season, he averaged 16.9 yards per catch with 82 catches and 12 touchdowns. In his two seasons as a starter in Pullman, he’s averaged 17.5 yards per catch, with 137 receptions and 18 touchdowns. In 2011, Wilson led the country with five catches of at least 60 yards, tied for first with three receptions of at least 70 yards, and was tied for third in the nation with 26 catches of at least 20 yards. He’s used his size (at 6’4″), long stride, and deceptive speed to dominate the Pac 12…and he could get even better with Mike Leach in town.
Leach has became famous for his Air Raid Offense, which uses fast-paced, pass-heavy offensive schemes that aggressively attack defenses through the air, utilizing the tools of his wide receivers. Having the dangerous Wilson to utilize likely made Leach’s decision to move to the Palouse that much easier. He’ll look to turn Wilson into the next Wes Welker, Michael Crabtree, or Danny Amendola who saw their skills used to perfection and became stars under Mike Leach in his high-octane offense.
Washington State is hoping to turn their fortunes around in a hurry with Mike Leach at the helm. The key to that turnaround may be the emergence of Marquess Wilson as an elite wide receiver and possible Belitnikoff Award winner. He could be just what Leach needs to find success in his first season at WSU, and Leach may be just the coach to turn Wilson into a bona fide star.