Gabe Marks and River Cracraft will likely go down in history as two of the best receivers WSU has ever had, but they're gone now, and Tavares Martin respectfully requests that you too allow the present day Cougars to move on. Thanks.
Wednesday afternoon, after Washington State’s first practice of fall camp at Martin Stadium, Tavares Martin faced reporters asking the question he’s grown tired of answering.
“How hard is it going to be to replace Gabe Marks and River Cracraft? Is it weird that they’re not out there?”
The WSU receivers have been asked those same questions all through spring ball, and they know it will likely continue through at least the early part of the season. But they would appreciate if you stopped asking.
“I don’t know what you want me to tell y’all, it’s not like they can be here for 20 years, I miss them but I can’t dwell on it, I got like six other guys I gotta focus on,” Martin told Theo Lawson of the Spokesman-Review and several other media members Wednesday.
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Later, his head coach echoed the same sentiments when asked about replacing two of the top receivers in WSU history.
“Those guys are great guys – we look forward to hearing from them and hearing what they’re up to, but we’ve gotta focus on this team,” Leach said.
Marks and Cracraft aren’t forgotten, but they’re gone now.
The Cougars hope to replace them with Martin, Isaiah Johnson-Mack, C.J. Dimry, Dezmon Patmon, Robert Lewis, Kyle Sweet and a trio of eager, young freshmen.
Is Martin going to be the featured receiver in the Cougars’ offense this year?
“Well, I think ideally you have a lot of them,” Leach told reporters. “If you’re going to be good, you have quite a few.”
It appears that the receivers put up a good showing in the first practice.
“Isaiah got real hot for a while, and then Patmon was real hot for while,” Leach said. “Sweet and Robert Lewis were steady, we saw explosion out of Martin, and Dimry, had one of the most consistent days. Dimry was very consistent today I thought.”
Marks and Cracraft are gone, but they’re still keeping an eye on their ol’ alma mater.
“First day of fall camp in the books for my boys on the Palouse. Enjoy the ride this year boys. Go finish the job,” Marks, now in training camp with the New York Jets, tweeted Wednesday night, along with emojis of two roses.
First day of fall camp in the books for my boys on the Palouse. Enjoy the ride this year boys. Go finish the job! #GoCougs
— Gabe Marks (@throwitupto9) August 3, 2017
The message from WSU’s now legendary No. 9 is clear: Rose Bowl or bust.
More links from Day 1 of WSU fall camp:
— The Spokesman-Review’s new WSU beat writer, Theo Lawson, liked what he saw out of Dezmon Patmon on Wednesday
— KREM’s Darnay Tripp was the reporter who asked Martin whether it was strange to be out on the field without Cracraft and Martin. Here’s his take on WSU’s quest to replace its receivers.
— The Spokesman’s Vince Grippi broaches the question of whether WSU could post double-digit wins this year for the first time since 2003. His take: Quite possibly.
— Oh and by the way, the Cougars fell in just outside the top 25 in the preseason Amway Coaches Poll, but they snuck in the top 25 of another prominent media organization.