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WSU Cougars Football: Gabe Marks is a full participant at practice

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Ten days after going down with an injury, the star receiver is back in pads.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday's WSU football practice brought the best news in over a week, as Gabe Marks was a full participant for the first time since going down with an injury August 8. According to the Spokesman-Review's Jacob Thorpe, Marks had been going through warmups with the team since then, but had sat out after those were completed.

While Marks' return provides a big relief, there had been a growing sense of optimism that the undisclosed injury wouldn't hold him back for long. On Tuesday our own Britton Ransford noticed the number 9 (which Marks dons) on the back of a helmet at a practice. However, if he had gone down for a significant amount of time it would have lowered the potential of the Cougs in 2016 by a considerable margin. The 2016 Belitnikoff Award semifinalist is WSU's top returning skill player and Luke Falk's favorite target.

After practice Thorpe interviewed Marks who, even after only missing 10 days of practice, doesn't want to be given his spot back. Instead he wants to earn his reps back from freshman Isaiah Johnson, who has filled in for the senior and been very impressive.

Johnson has continued to impress this fall after a strong spring and appears to be in line for steady playing time as Marks' backup. If all goes as planned, the freshman from Florida should be ready to be a playmaker come fall 2017. In other outside receiver news, Thorpe was also kind enough to publish his interview with coach Dave Nichol.

Nichol talked about what Tavares Martin Jr, whose starting spot at X appears safe, has been working on. The outside receivers coach sounds confident in what Martin Jr. can do once he catches the ball and has been focusing more on "overall receiver stuff."

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