Spring breakout player: Washington State

May, 22, 2014
5/22/14
5:30
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This week the Pac-12 blog will finish looking around the conference at several players who really stood out during spring ball. It’s only 15 practices, but it’s enough time to catch the eyes of coaches and gain momentum going into the season.

We round out the Pac-12 today with Washington State.

[+] EnlargeVince Mayle
Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY SportsWashington State hopes Vince Mayle is ready for a big year.
Breakout player: WR Vince Mayle

2013 statistics: 42 receptions, 539 yards, 7 touchdowns

The case for Mayle: Mayle is a player who did contribute for his team last season. But this spring, he took the step from being a contributor to becoming a safety blanket for QB Connor Halliday.

The Cougars return plenty of talent in their receiving corps, but if Mayle can become Halliday’s go-to receiver, it would mean big things for Mayle and the team as a whole. Halliday, who threw for more than 4,500 yards last season, is poised for another great season, and having Mayle downfield could propel Halliday into position to be the Pac-12’s leading passer in his final year for the Cougars.

Mayle, who transferred to Washington State before last season, took some time to learn the routes and scheme, but his natural ability (one coach compared his in-air abilities to Michael Crabtree) coupled with how much he has learned over the past year could mean big things ahead.

Other breakout players:

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