The Washington State Cougars were buzzing last spring with the arrival of new head coach Mike Leach and his high-octane offense. Things didn’t go so smoothly in the first year, finishing just 3-9 and 1-8 in Pac 12 play. With spring practice underway in Pullman, the Cougars are looking to have a much more successful year two under Leach. The key to that success could be the breakout season of wide receiver Gabe Marks.
Marks broke onto the scene last spring with impressive workouts that caught the attention of the coaching staff. He turned that into a starting job as a true freshman in 2012, finishing the year with 49 catches (No. 3 on the team) for 560 yards (No. 2) and two touchdowns. This offseason, Marks has been putting in the work to make his follow-up performance as a sophomore even more spectacular.
The young wide receiver has been spending his winter in the weight room, film room and practice field working on the chemistry with the quarterbacks and learning the intricacies of Leach’s system. He hopes to add intelligence to his game to complement his unreal athleticism, learning how to attack defenses with more than his speed. His work has been paying off so far, according to reports, as Marks has dominated in both 7-on-7 and 1-on-1 drills this spring.
But he isn’t focused on just dominating practice. He hopes to take that domination to an opponent next season and be a focal point in the WSU turnaround in 2013. Leach needs playmakers to make his offense work, and with a year under the team’s belt, feels like he could find them this season now that everyone is acclimated to the way things need to be done.
Gabe Marks has put in the work to succeed in 2013, now all that’s left is to have it translate to the field next fall.