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Gabe Marks gets his shot at the NFL Combine

How did Gabe perform in the NFL's biggest cattle call?

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. When last we saw the leading receiver in WSU history, Gabe Marks was trying to impress NFL scouts during the East-West Shrine game. Despite having an underwhelming game, Marks was extremely impressive during the week of practice leading up to it. After six weeks of workouts, Saturday was Marks' turn to show his wares at the NFL Combine.

Marks' full pre-workout scouting reports is here.

The 40-yard dash always seems to get the most coverage during this annual event, and Gabe told the Seattle Times beforehand that he didn't expect to wow the scouts:

As for his speed, Marks knows that a good time could help ease some of the other concerns about his game even if he also seems to think it’s not that big of a deal.

"I’m just trying to be respectable out here with my times,’’ he said. "This isn’t really my forte — it’s not how I make my money. I play football and when we get on the field I usually can get it going or whatever, so I don’t know.’’

Pressed on what he hopes to run Saturday, Marks said "a low 4.5 would be a solid time. If I can somehow muster up the adrenaline to sneak into the 4.4’s that would be like ‘I’m never running again.’

Gabe is aware that speed isn't exactly his forté, and his 40-yard dash time was right around where he thought it would be, if not a bit worse. Marks ran the 40 in 4.56 seconds, good for 33rd-fastest among the 51 receivers who took part. Marks competed in four other scored events as well, the bench press (11 reps, 26th), vertical jump (29.5 inches, 47th), broad jump (117 inches, 41st) and 20-yard shuttle (4.2 seconds, 25th).

AIN'T NONE OF THOSE STATS MEASURIN' HEART PAWWWWWLLLLLLLL.

Sorry, had a bit of a moment there. When it came time for the pass catchers to, you know, actually catch passes, Marks did quite well.

Those of us who watched Marks catch hundreds of passes over the last few years are fully aware that he wasn't a guy with blazing speed or overwhelming strength. However, Marks is pretty damn good at catching the ball when it seems like he has no business doing so, often with a DB draped on him. He can also take a hard hit, and even though he often gets up limping, he's ready to go again on the next play.

There is no doubt the team that picks Marks will get a quick, tough SOB who runs good routes, blocks his butt off and pours everything he has into being the best. Marks will get one more chance to impress NFL scouts when WSU holds its Pro Day later this spring.

One other WSU alumnus, Shalom Luani, will take part in these same drills Monday. Luani's official height and weight were 5-foot-11, 202 pounds. Best of luck to Shalom.

Football

Receivers Kendrick Bourne, Cooper Kupp and Gabe Marks impress at NFL combine | The Spokesman-Review
Marks was the fastest of the local wideouts, running a 4.56 40-yard dash. Marks also impressed onlookers during drills, with one viewer positing that he could make a good slot receiver.

Basketball

WSU gave highly-ranked UCLA a much more competitive game that most of us (and definitely UCLA) expected Saturday night, but the Cougars went on a scoring drought down the stretch that proved their undoing. Once again, Ernie Kent went to the "mental fatigue" well, as he is wont to do. For a little context, this was WSU's third game in the last 14 days.

No. 3 UCLA holds off upset-minded Cougars | The Spokesman-Review
The Cougars, who have won just three games ever at UCLA, scored just one point from when there was 10:02 left in the game until there was 5:40.

Beer

Best beer I had this week: This isn't so much about the quality of the beer as it is about the setting. I took the family up to Clearwater, FL to watch a Grapefruit League game and had my first official beer of baseball season, in the form of a Victory Summer Love Ale. How can you pass up a craft beer with a baseball right on the label??!! Anyway, the beer itself was ok, but the backdrop of sunny skies, 75 degrees, zero humidity and four seats in the shade could not be beaten.

Non-Sports

Kim Jong-nam’s Death: A Geopolitical Whodunit - The New York Times
Circumstantial evidence points to a North Korean hand in the assassination. And that could complicate Pyongyang’s relationship with China, its main ally.