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Most important player: Washington State Cougars

Gabe Marks returns to the Washington State receiving corps after redshirting in 2014. Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

All players are equal, but some players are more equal than others. That's the basis of our "most important players" series.

There are a few rules you need to know:

1. Quarterbacks are ineligible.

2. "Most important" doesn't equal "best." (Note: Sometimes the most important player is the best player.) I think we can all agree that a season ago, players such as Mike Bercovici and Jerry Neuheisel proved how very important they were to their respective teams.

3. Even if they were the most important, they're quarterbacks and therefore ineligible (see rule No. 1). Keep up, guys.

Washington State: WR Gabe Marks

2014 production: He redshirted last season, but caught 74 passes for 807 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013.

Why Marks is so important: Going into the 2014 season, Marks was expected to be the team’s best receiver. Coming off an impressive sophomore year, he was widely considered a legitimate candidate for all-conference honors, but a surprising redshirt took him off the radar -- at least from a conference-wide perspective.

Even if Marks didn’t return, the Cougars would be fine with the depth they have at receiver, but his inclusion makes the group one of the best in the conference. It makes the departure of Vince Mayle (106 catches, 1,483 yards, 9 TD in 2014) a much easier pill to swallow and combined with River Cracraft, Dom Williams and others, QB Luke Falk has plenty of weapons.