WSU receiver Gabe Marks announced on Sunday that he will return for his senior year instead of going out early for the NFL draft. Marks and River Cracraft will likely form the nucleus of a receiving corps that will be breaking in a new outside receivers coach
A day after Washington State’s 20-14 win over Miami in the Hyundai Sun Bowl, the Cougars have already begun their campaign to win the Pac-12 North in 2016.
Junior receiver Gabe Marks has decided to return to WSU for his senior season instead of leaving early to declare for the NFL draft. Marks announced the news on Twitter, saying that he decided after the Stanford game that he would come back for one final season with the Cougs.
“When I signed with WSU in February of 2012, I wanted to be part of a special group of guys that turned the program around, and we did just that in 2015,” Marks wrote in his Tweet. “I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of building a winning tradition at WSU. I wouldn’t trade these last four years for anything in the world.
“After the heartbreaking loss to Stanford this season, I realized how close this program is to being a Pac-12 champion and I also remember the No. 1 goal I had when committing to WSU, and that was to get the Cougars back to a Rose Bowl. It was after that disappointing game that I made the decision to return to WSU for my senior season.”
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He ended the tweet with the hashtags “Unfinished business” and “Go Cougs.”
Marks’ return is a huge boost for WSU, which will lose Dom Williams (1,040 yards, 11 TD) to graduation. Marks finished his junior season as the Cougars’ leading receiver, with 1,192 receiving yards and 15 TD.
He had tangible chemistry with quarterback Luke Falk, and also broke WSU’s career receptions record this season, passing Michael Bumpus to finish the year with 227 total catches.
Marks and River Cracraft (615 yards, 4 TD) will likely form the nucleus of WSU’s receiving corps next year, and provide some stability and leadership for a unit that’s breaking in a new position coach — former ECU offensive coordinator Dave Nichol will begin his tenure with the Cougars on Monday. Nichol replaces Graham Harrell, who coached his last game for WSU in the Sun Bowl, and will now join Seth Luttrell’s North Texas staff as the offensive coordinator.
Nichol will work in tandem with WSU’s inside receivers coach, David Yost and function as Mike Leach’s eyes from the press box during WSU games.
Aside from Marks and Cracraft, the Cougars return a talented corps of receivers. Sophomore Robert Lewis (43 rec, 490 yards), freshman Kyle Sweet (21 rec 222 yards), junior John Thompson (24 rec, 255 yards), sophomore Kyrin Priester (33 rec, 241 yards) and freshman Tavares Martin Jr. (16 rec, 124 yards) all showed significant promise this season.