Luke Falk gets another award. Is Gabe Marks going to the NFL after this season?
The honors just keep coming for Washington State’s sophomore quarterback, Luke Falk, who is piling up crazy stats at a blistering pace.
Fresh off Pac-12 Player of the week and Walter Camp Player of the Week honors, Falk has now been named the Maxwell Award Player of the Week, the Cougars’ athletic department announced Thursday.
The Robert. W Maxwell Football Club presents the Maxwell Player of the Year award annually. The list of previous winners includes Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Stanford’s Andrew Luck, and Alabama’s A.J. McCarron and Notre Dame’s Manti T’eo.
Falk currently ranks second in the nation in passing (412.1), third in total offense (403.3) and fourth in passing touchdowns (26). He leads the Pac-12 in all those categories, and has 16 touchdown passes in the Cougars’ last three games.
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A little more about Falk’s favorite receiver, Gabe Marks, and his NFL future
Junior receiver Gabe Marks has caught 10 of Falk’s 26 touchdown passes, and while Falk never singles out any one receiver for praise when asked, it’s clear that he and Marks have a special connection.
I wrote about Marks in today’s edition of The Seattle Times, and for the story I talked to some of the people closest to him. It quickly became apparent to me that Marks’ dominance this year is even more remarkable than most people think. Because last spring, Marks was gravely ill and fighting to even get to play football again. The fact that he’s rebounded so quickly is pretty impressive.
Stanford coach David Shaw, who coached the Baltimore Ravens’ wide receivers from 2002-05, said this week that he believes Marks has NFL-caliber talent.
“He’s faster than you think, he’s got quickness, and he can make tough catches and get his feet on the ground and still take off and run,” Shaw said. “It’s week after week, he makes big play after big play, he’s a threat to take one the distance, but also a threat in the red zone, he can go up and get it, he can also run by you. He’s very good.
“He’s an NFL receiver. He can run routes, he can come out of his breaks crisp, he can catch the ball, he has good hands and can run after the catch. At first glance he checks all the boxes of what you want NFL receivers to do.”
Will Marks, a redshirt junior, enter the NFL Draft at the end of this season? That has yet to be determined, his mother, Jordanna Gersh said.
“We’re not even entertaining (NFL) right now. We’re just enjoying every moment of the season because we’re having a very good season. We’re just trying to get through Stanford,” Gersh said, adding that as it stands, Marks is probably going to come back for his final year of eligibility.
Basically: they don’t know yet. They haven’t thought much about it because they’re just thrilled at how well Marks is doing this year, and they’ll make the decision later on.
Now, more links:
— You know a team has bought into what a coach is preaching when the players start talking like the head coach. This is happening at WSU, says Matthew Zimmer of CougFan.com
— Former WSU coach Paul Wulff has resurfaced at Iowa State. Wulff has joined the Cyclones as a volunteer assistant.
— Jacob Thorpe from the Spokesman-Review writes that Luke Falk stays grounded by avoiding the hype
— ESPN.com’s Chantel Jennings says Portland State could provide Stanford with some clues as to how to beat WSU.
— Sports on Earth’s David Ubben says Luke Falk is “the best QB you’re not watching.”
— CougCenter.com’s Brian Anderson has this excellent breakdown of the Stanford vs. WSU matchup
— ESPN.com’s Pac-12 Blog staff has made its picks for the week. Ted Miller is the only one of the five writers who’s planted his flag in WSU’s corner vs. Stanford. Let the calls for an upset begin!
— Braulio Perez has this piece about Marks for CougFan.com