To be underrated is to be undervalued relative to your actual contribution, for whatever reason.
Sometimes it’s a guy who plays a position that doesn’t rack up a lot of stats but is critically important. Sometimes it’s a guy who does rack up stats, but perhaps those stats are even more significant than they appear on the surface. Sometimes it’s a guy who lacks flash, or who is overshadowed by a better known player.
Who, currently, is WSU football’s most underrated player?
There are a number of candidates off the top of my head, including guys such as Peyton Pelluer and all those tackles, Cole Madison and his anchor on the right side, and Robert Taylor and his steady play on the back end.
But for my money, it’s Jamal Morrow.
Because of the nature of a three-headed backfield, Morrow doesn’t get as many touches as a feature running back. Additionally, he generally doesn’t “wow” you with any particular aspect of his repertoire — he stands just 5-foot-9 and 200 pounds, and while he’s fast enough to run by a guy, he’s not blazingly fast; while he’s strong enough to hit someone, he’s not Gerard Wicks in that regard; and while he’s shifty, he doesn’t have the jaw-dropping open field moves of James Williams.
All he is ... is a guy who does so many things so well, that he’s the best all-around running back at WSU since Mike Leach arrived.
It’s easy to become enamored with Williams’ explosive athleticism, but consider: Despite having 12 fewer carries last season than Williams, Morrow gained just 10 fewer yards, averaging 6.4 yards per carry to Williams’ 5.7. He also gained nearly 150 more receiving yards in the same number of receptions as Williams.
Additionally, we all love Gabe Marks ... but did you know that Morrow was the only Cougar to gain more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage last season? And that he finished third on the team in touchdowns? He was the most productive player on the team last year.
Morrow does a little bit of everything well and he’s an absolutely essential cog to the rushing attack that fueled WSU’s offensive surge last season.
Who’s your pick for most underrated player?