In a surprise move, USF Running Back Marlon Mack has decided to declare for the upcoming NFL Draft. Mack made the announcement on Twitter Thursday night and caught many off guard:
It had been believed that Mack was leaning to returning for his final season in the Green and Gold. One source told F.F.I. Thursday night: “while we knew it could happen, no one really thought he would leave with Charlie Strong coming in.”
Well something changed, and maybe it’s the fact that head coach Willie Taggart bolted for Oregon and that Strong hired his former Texas offensive coordinator, Sterlin Gilbert for the same role in Tampa earlier Thursday afternoon.
— USF Football (@USFFootball) January 5, 2017
We’re only speculating, but the timing is awful coincidental.
Mack leaves USF having raced past Andre Hall’s all time USF rushing record in October last year and finished with 3,609 yards, a gaudy 6.2 average, 20 career 100 yard or more rushing games and 33 career TDs.
It’s a mixed bag of what’s out there in terms of Mack in NFL Mock Drafts, but none have him in the first two rounds. Here was an interesting tweet from a respected SI college football writer tonight on the Mack/declaring early/Draft subject:
USF all-time leading rusher Marlon Mack headed early to the NFL. Not smart. NFL scout told me today he's a late-round pick. Loaded RB year.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 6, 2017
We will say this though: Mack is big and runs with authority, especially around the goal line. That will help him.
Obviously, it’s a blow to Strong and USF’s offensive outlook for the fall, but the Bulls do have a capable understudy in D’Ernest Johnson who had success himself at times in 2016 running for 513 yards and 8 rushing TDs.
Still, many Bulls fans were hoping for more “Mack attacks” upcoming. Alas, those are done.