The 10 best players on 2014 Cougars: No. 6

EVEN FOR THE most physically ready, there's always a transition period for a first-year player when you’re talking about the Pac-12 – it’s just a matter of how long. One player who arrived at WSU last year needed very little transition time before taking flight. And this offseason, he offered evidence he's ready to take it to another level.

Vince Mayle had zero catches in the opener at Auburn last year. By the time three games were in the books, he had just two catches for 14 yards.

But something began to click the rest of the way.

Mayle ended the season tied for the TD lead among Cougar receivers (7). He was the fifth-leading receiver on the team with 42 catches (539 yards, 12.8 ypc). And then in spring ball, he took off, gaining national attention.

Mayle is a big, physical wideout with deceptive speed. But he remade his body this offseason, dropping about 20-pounds. He’s now listed at 6-3, 219.

CF.C correspondent Christopher Shaw noted this spring Mayle’s routes were crisper than they were last season, and he simply looked smoother and swifter than in 2013.

And he still looks to have that strength advantage, which is often the difference between a completion and not being open.

“He's a big, physical powerful man, and he needs to play like that all the time,” outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons told last month.

NFL Draft guru Rob Rang had this to say about Mayle:

"While he does not possess ideal burst off the line of scrimmage, he has lateral quickness to slip the jam and to elude defenders. Mayle possesses deceptive build-up speed and can track the ball over his shoulder as well as turn back to use his height and leaping ability to win 50-50 balls," said Rang.

Consider that Rang said that about Mayle based on his 2013 season, before he shed the weight.

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