Like WSU head coach Mike Leach, former WR Gabe Marks has been known for his propensity to opine on anything. He joined us for a pre-Apple Cup chat, previewing the matchup and talking about his future plans.

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To kick off the 110th Apple Cup between Washington and Washington State, we hosted a 20-minute chat with someone who’s intimately familiar with the matchup: former WSU receiver Gabe Marks. On Wednesday, we peppered him with questions about the matchup and questions that Seattle Times readers submitted beforehand.

We ran into technical difficulties and couldn’t pull this off as a live video chat (so sorry about that!), but here’s the audio if you’d like to listen to Marks – though, it’s a bit scratchy. Alternatively, there’s also the transcript below if you’d rather read the interview.

One notable nugget: After joining the New York Jets in camp this summer as an undrafted free agent, but getting cut before the season, Marks says he will no longer pursue a future in pro football. Instead, he’s set his sights on a number of other things. Read on to find out more.


#AskGabeWSU full transcript

Saturday | 5 p.m. | FOX

Stef Loh: Hi Gabe, thanks for doing this. Give everybody an update as to what you’re doing these days?

Gabe Marks: I’m doing a lot of different things. I’m working on a web site right now with my old roommate, Parker Henry. I’m doing some stuff with the Pac-12 Network and enjoying my life.

SL: OK, here’s a Twitter question, “The Messiah has had some problems off late, and some Cougar faithful have lost confidence in the offense. Tell us why betting against him is a mistake. (Editorial note:”The Messiah” is Marks’ nickname for WSU QB Luke Falk.)

GM: He’s had what, like three tough games? And we won one of them based off the fact we have a great team. What about the other games he’s been really good all year. The people who lose faith in a guy based on the fact he had a couple bad games, those are the kind of people I can’t really worry about. They don’t understand how hard it is to do what he does. And like, when you start having success and people act like they don’t remember what it was like when you were beyond trash. People quickly forget how much he’s done for the program and the school. He’s the reason why people come to watch the games now, and believe we’re gonna win all the games. I think people’s expectations are raised, and they forget that he’s the Messiah and they should just come down.

SL: Another Twitter question, “What’s worse – Purple or powder blue?”

GM: Purple.

SL: Even for the boy from Venice, Calif.?

GM: I don’t have any overall like long standing life issues with UCLA it’s just that specific time nad place something needed to be addressed and things needed to be said. Sometimes things don’t need to be said, and I’ve had a problem with that, but (laughs) I have nothing against those guys. They’re fine. They are what they are.

SL: You recently started your site WestCoast-Offense.com. Tell us about that. What you’re hoping to accomplish with that?

GM: I’m trying to get to a point where I can get former players or current players, using that as a space to say what they want to say and get out what they want to get out, kinda like a Players Tribune kind of thing. But it doesn’t have to be like strictly on football and stuff like that. I just want a free space where athletes can come express their opinions on things and feel like they have a place to go say what they need to say.

SL: So what do you feel like is missing from the media landscape right now that you can bring to the conversation with your site?

GM: What’s missing from the media landscape? I don’t know. The media does a good job. Everyone has their own thing, it just feels like a lot of it is watered down. Everyone does the same kind of thing, or whatever. That’s why I think companies like Barstool are starting to get recognized more and starting to get bigger. We’re in an age where people want the next cool thing. So anything that’s different from the norm, people will gravitate toward that. And I’m not even trying to do any of that. I’m just trying to give the fan a more intimate experience of what athletes go through.

SL: Moving on to the Apple Cup, the last five years WSU has played the Huskies, the Cougs have not scored a touchdown in the first quarter. Can you believe that?

GM: I mean, I played in them.

SL: Why do you think that is? Why has WSU started slowly the last few years?

GM: Uh, because they’ve had really, really dominant defenses the last couple years and their teams are really good. It’s not like that’s anything new, their defense last year was doing that to everybody. It’s just a matter of making the most of opportunities. Like last year, we got down to the 1-yard line like three times in the first half and we didn’t score a TD. Those things kinda drastically flipped the scenario. That’s 21 points.

SL: What do you expect to see this Saturday between UW and WSU?

GM: Physicality. I think they finally got the physicality part. I think it’s going to be two clashes of teams, and I think it’s going to make it really interesting. Our team this year – we could easily have won every game minus a couple. Cal, I don’t know what happened. And there were all those unfortunate situations that happened in one game, that happened. And Arizona – you never know. When you play Arizona or ASU you never really know what’s gonna happen, you don’t even know what team you’re gonna play against. You could play against the Arizona team we scored 69 points against, or you play the Arizona State team where, they don’t let you score a point because their defense just decides to play that day. So those teams are wildcards. And they have a quarterback who’s like a Lamar Jackson kind of guy – so that’s always a wildcard that can bust a game open. But other than that I believe we can win every game, that’s how good the team is. We’ve been working to this point for the last couple years – that 2015 season when Luke started playing. So the logical next step is to go to the Pac-12 championship game and we’ll talk about there. I’d love to go to Santa Clara.

SL: Are you going to go to the Pac-12 Championship Game if the Cougars make it there?

GM: Do I have a choice? I don’t think I have a choice. I’m obligated. If I don’t go I’ll always be missing something in my life and I don’t want to live with regrets.

SL: Where you watching the game this weekend? With Parker “Bulldog” Henry?

GM: At home. The Dog lives in the Pacific Northwest. We could Facetime and have a virtual Cougar party pre-game or whatever.

SL: Are you still trying to get your NFL shot?

GM: Life is like an onion, you know. There’s a lot of layers in life, there’s a really long life, there’s a lot of things I’m interested in, and I think I’d be of better use to the world if I tried to do other things. You know what I mean? I just want to do other things. I hope that’s understandable to people, but I don’t really care. So yeah I’m doing a lot of things, working on a lot of things.

SL: So you’re done? You’re hanging it up? That’s it?

GM: I don’t know how many ways I can put this without having to deal with this whole thing on Twitter, with everyone DM’ing me and getting in my mentions and everything, so I’m trying to let it off easy, Stef, and you’re not helping.

SL: If you could do anything for a living if you didn’t have to worry about money coming in, what would it be and why?

GM: What would I do? I think it’s one of two extremes – I’d either do absolutely nothing and just sit on my balcony overlooking the ocean, or I’d be like some extreme Indiana Jones, like the Raiders of the Lost Ark, trying to discover new things, something crazy. It’d either be nothing or everything.

SL: Who’s the most exciting player for WSU right now? On offense and on defense.

GM: Hmm. Most exciting player on offense? Well, if you take away how exciting it is watching Luke run, when he scrambles from the pocket and tries to get some yards on the ground – there’s nothing more exciting in all of sports than that. Probably Jamal. Jamal Morrow is probably the most exciting player I’ve seen in a long time. I don’t know how he breaks tackles. I’ve always asked him what his secret was. I think that he must have made a deal with the devil – b/c no one can have that much balance on such an oddly-shaped small frame. (Laughs) I don’t know what it is. I mean, he squats like 1,700 pounds or something like that. I don’t know. So Jamal on offense. On defense, it would have to be either Robert Taylor or Hercules (Mata’afa). I hate to say it. Hercules is having a good year. I don’t know who this guy is, this Hercules. He’s like a new beast.

SL: What’s different about Hercules of 2017?

GM: I have no idea. Somebody said something to him one day, and he was like, ‘You know what? You’re right.” And I think that’s really what he’s doing. I think he’s like leading the conference in tackles for loss, and sacks too. What more can you say?

SL: Young WSU player with the brightest future – offense and defense. Underclassmen.

GM: Well I mean, obviously, (QB) Tyler Hilinski makes me excited. His last bullpen relief pitching that he did wasn’t the best but he’s shown a lot of poise and confidence out there, so I think that’s pretty exciting. And Renard Bell and Jamire Calvin. They’ve made a lot of big plays – like Renard has the most yards per catch of everybody or something like that I think. They’ve added an explosive dimension, especially for Tyler who likes to throw the ball down the field a lot. So those three guys I think are the most exciting.

SL: And, you know Jamire, right? You’ve met him and trained with him?

GM: Yeah. He’s from out here. …. On defense. Is Jalen Thompson a sophomore now? (I answer, yes). Something about Jalen is always exciting. I don’t know. When he came in, he understood everything a lot faster (than most). I think he’ll break out and have an outstanding season.

SL: Care to share a score prediction for the Apple Cup?

GM: I’m always about somebody winning by 10. I got the score in my head of 31-21 or something. I think we’ll win by 10. I’ll take 35-28. Or something like that. You can put that in there.

SL: Gabe Marks, everybody. Thanks for joining us, Gabe.

GM: Adios!