Last season, the Washington State Cougars stumbled onto a fantastic playmaker in wide receiver Vince Mayle. The big-bodied receiver came to Pullman with just one year of experience playing receiver and ended up as one of the team’s best options in the passing game. This offseason, Mayle has improved by leaps and bounds, setting the stage for a monster season in 2014 as Washington State’s most dangerous weapon in the passing attack.
When Mayle got to Pullman last year, he looked more like a tightend than a wide receiver. At 6-foot-3, 240-pounds, Mayle was big-bodied and struggled early on to catch on to the thick Air Raid playbook of passing aficionado Mike Leach. But Mayle’s physical talent overtook any inexperience or extra bulk he was carrying and he finished with 42 receptions for 539 yards with a team-high seven touchdowns. He flashed the ability to go up and fight defenders for balls in the air and the speed to leave them in his dust when he got rolling.
This offseason, Mayle has hit the weight room and practice field with a vengeance to be an even bigger part of the offense in 2014. He emerged from winter conditioning stronger and faster while also slimming down to a svelte 220 pounds at spring practice. He’s also worked closely with fellow receiver River Cracraft, who finished as an honorable mention All-Pac-12 as a freshman in 2013, to become more comfortable with the WSU offense.
The playmaking ability of Vince Mayle was evident even as the talented pass-catcher struggled with conditioning and a very thick playbook. With the added strength, speed, and knowledge that Mayle has added this offseason, look for him to make a major impact on the passing game in 2014.