CFC TV: Cougar special teams coach Eric Mele has a good return men problem to solve, especially when Gabe Marks taps him on the shoulder

PULLMAN – Just when Washington State special teams coach Eric Mele thinks he knows how his punt returns depth chart will shake out, Cougar star wideout Gabe Marks comes by and taps him on the shoulder.

In the search for consistency on punt returns, Mele says he likes what he sees in contenders Robert Taylor and James Williams. But you can also definitely add Gabe Marks into the equation (and Kaleb Fossum is also in contention). 

Meanwhile, Tavares Martin and Taylor look to be the frontrunners on kickoff returns.

Is this the season the TD return drought is finally laid to rest? Wazzu hasn’t returned a kickoff for score since 2003 (Sammy Moore, Colorado). And they haven’t brought a punt back to the house since 2005 (Michael Bumpus, Nevada). 

But if the Cougs block it right on a kick return, Mele says, the speedy Martin is going to take it to the end zone this season.

Taylor is explosive and gets to full speed “really fast,” while Williams, can “break some tackles and do some things as well.”

As for who will be doing the long snapping in the season opener a week from Saturday against Eastern Washington, Lucas Gravelle or Kyle Celli, Mele was keeping that under his hat. Here’s the full interview (Note: Mele is talking about punter Zach Charme at the beginning).

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