USF junior running back Marlon Mack announced on his Twitter account Thursday evening that he would be declaring for the NFL draft. In a note that he posted on his Twitter account, Mack wrote the following:
“This decision was not easy, but after weeks of contemplating…I’ve decided to declare for the NFL Draft. I would like to thank the University of South Florida for giving me the opportunity to play the game I love. I would also like to thank my coaches and teammates for guiding me and being there for me during my collegiate career. I will always be a Bull!! #GoBulls”
Mack was a Scout three-star recruit out of Booker High School in Sarasota, FL, and signed with Willie Taggart’s South Florida Bulls on January 28, 2014. The running back made his presence known in the American Athletic Conference from the very start, running for 1,041 yards and nine touchdowns in his freshman year. Mack surpassed that yard total in both his sophomore and junior seasons, running for 1,381 and 1,187 yards respectively. Mack was selected as a first team all-conference player three consecutive times, the only USF player to have that distinction.
While Mack was letting the nation know about his presence; he also decided that he was going to make sure that his name wouldn’t be forgotten at USF, rewriting the program’s record books. This year the junior running back demolished the previous school record for career rushing yards (2,731), setting the new career record just shy of 900 yards more at 3,609 yards.
Mack also set new records for career all-purpose yards, jumping over former running back Andre Hall —who also held the previous career rushing yard record— and former wide receiver DeAndrew Rubin. Mack’s new all-purpose record surpasses the previous record by 209 yards.
Even though Mack missed the second game of the season due to a concussion, he still managed to pick up his third consecutive 1,000 rushing season, but he also racked up a total of 15 rushing touchdowns. Mack’s extra efforts in the end zone saw him set two more records, breaking the previous single season rushing touchdown record (13) with 15 and shattering the previous career rushing touchdown record (25) with 32 career touchdowns.
While Mack has the size and talent to find a spot on a NFL team, his decision to head to the NFL Draft will see him join a very talented running back class. Mack will be joining players like Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, Texas’ D’Onta Foreman, San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey (who set the FBS career rushing yard record), Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and LSU’s Leonard Fournette.
Mack will be missed in the 2017 season, but he has left his impression on USF and helped bring the Bulls back to national relevancy. While the Bulls will need to fill the hole that Mack will leave behind, junior running back D’Ernest Johnson is the next man up for the spot after running for 543 yards and 8 touchdowns, while averaging 4.9 yards per carry. The Bulls will also have freshman Trevon Sands to rely on in the backfield in the upcoming years.