Top receiver Marquess Wilson gets more physical | WSU football
Marquess Wilson, top Washington State receiver, has added bulk and has been more aggressive than he was during spring practice.
PULLMAN — If there is a topic Marquess Wilson likes discussing less than his play — much of which has been outstanding through the first two seasons of his Washington State career — it has yet to be discovered.
The junior is a standout receiver and potential All-American, but also far more comfortable catching passes than he is talking about himself in front of a camera. And so it came as no surprise that when he was asked Sunday about his development in coach Mike Leach's pass-a-whole-lot offense, Wilson praised the hard work of the team's quarterbacks, offensive linemen, running backs, receivers and coaches before saying anything else.
Thus outside-receivers coach Dennis Simmons is left to evaluate Wilson's progression from the spring, when he was publicly criticized by Leach for his lack of nasty, so to speak, during practices.
"It's night and day," said Simmons, shaking his head in mild amazement. "Night and day."
First, there is the matter of Wilson's arms, chest and shoulders. All are bigger, intended to add another dimension to the game of the 6-foot-4, 185-pounder who caught 82 passes for 1,388 yards last season — both WSU records — and could improve those numbers playing in Leach's prolific offense.
Everyone knows Wilson can catch and run. But it was his reluctance to push people around that held him back a bit during the spring, prompting a challenge from coaches.
Simmons said, "I've got to teach him that it's OK sometimes to play the game violently."
Wilson said he doesn't know why he couldn't commit to the coaches' desired style of play during the spring.
But lately it seems he is getting their message after "seeing I was letting my team down."
Wilson said, "That just made me come to the realization that I needed to work harder for them, because I know they're going to work hard for me, so that's what's been pushing me this fall camp."