Oregon State wide receiver Markus Wheaton -- underrated by many to start the year -- is having a stellar season through the first three games. He's caught 27 balls for 403 yards and three touchdowns. He was kind enough to carve out some time for this week's Pac-12 Q&A.
Obviously it’s a hot start for you. What’s been clicking so well with you and Sean Mannion?
Markus Wheaton: I would say chemistry. We’ve been going at it all summer and the chemistry is there and the trust is there.
How much easier is it for you with someone like Brandin Cooks emerging on the other side?
MW: Oh man, as you can see in the numbers, it helps a lot. And the running game helps a lot. It’s showing on the field.
Speaking of Sean, what are some of the things you can see in him this year that's different from last year?
MW: Really, it’s his confidence. That helps his focus and that helps his accuracy. He’s grown so much. He had a good year last year, but he’s really grown.
Do you think he lacked confidence last year?
MW: I wouldn’t say that. He’s just that much more confident this year.
You guys have three wins -- two are over ranked teams and another over a team that was ranked. Is it officially time for people to start getting excited about this team and thinking about bigger things -- say, the Rose Bowl?
MW: I’m not sure about that. That’s looking a little too far ahead. We’ll do the one-game-at-a-time thing and just focus on our week-to-week goals.
So how do you keep yourself from getting too excited and maintaining an even keel?
MW: I wouldn’t say getting too excited is a bad thing. Getting excited when you are at home or talking about it with fans and friends, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. But when it’s time to work, you have to be ready to work. When you get to practice, you make sure everyone is on the same page and everyone is trying to get better. That’s the main thing each week, is just try to get better. Don’t ever be satisfied with where you’re at.
You’ve tripled your touchdown production from last year already. How nice is it to have the tangible stats to back up all of the hard work?
MW: It’s great. But more important is the success of the team and we’re looking much better than last year. I was really frustrated, just like all of us were about this time last year. And we worked hard in the offseason to make sure it didn’t happen again.
You’ve got more catches and touchdowns than Brandin. He’s got more yards. There has to be some kind of wager between you guys. What’s the deal?
MW: Haha. No, no wager. We talk about it all the time after the games. But during the games, we focus on the next first down or the next touchdown that we need to get.