#5 RB Marlon Mack
Junior, 6'0", 210 lbs.
2015 Stats: Mack had one of the best offensive seasons by any USF player ever. He broke Andre Hall's single-season rushing record with 1,381 yards on only 210 carries, for a 6.58 yard average. That average was better than Christian McCaffrey, Royce Freeman, Leonard Fournette, and Ezekiel Elliott, to name a few. (He missed LaFann Williams' season yards per carry record by a mere .0147 yards.) Mack ran for eight touchdowns, and caught 16 passes for 111 yards and another score. His 1,492 total yards were the third most in a season in school history. Following the season, he was named USF's co-offensive MVP and received his second straight first-team all-American Athletic Conference honor.
Position on Depth Chart: Of course Mack is the starting running back.
Watch List Watch: Marlon is on the preseason watch lists for the Doak Walker Award, the Maxwell Award, and the Walter Camp Award.
How He Came To USF: Mack played at Booker High School in Sarasota, and if there was a play to be made on the field for the Tornadoes, Mack probably made it. As a senior, he totaled 1,666 yards from scrimmage and 22 touchdowns on offense. On defense, he made 110 tackles and intercepted four passes.
Mack's recruitment was an adventure. First he collected over a dozen offers. Then he committed to UCLA, but it wasn't exactly firm. Then he took an official visit to USF and it seemed like he would come on board. Then the Louisville Courier-Journal reported Mack had committed to Louisville, sending Cardinals fans who were already off-the-charts smug about getting into the ACC and leaving all us losers behind in the American to a new level of smugness. Then:
Don't believe the hype. Go Bulls! #DreamTeam— Willie Taggart (@CoachTaggart) January 27, 2014
We had a Schrodinger's Recruit situation where it seemed Mack had simultaneously committed to Louisville and USF. Ultimately Mack chose USF on signing day, and it took all of one game for Taggart to be very happy he did.
Recruiting Rankings: ESPN gave Marlon four stars, while 247, Scout, and Rivals all gave him three.
Projected Playing Time: Instead of answering this very stupid question about how much playing time he'll get, let's break down all the records Mack is in position to own by the end of the season as long as he stays healthy.
- Career Attempts: Mack has 412 attempts through two seasons, only 133 behind Matt Grothe's record.
- Career Rushing Yards: He's at 2,422 yards and needs 309 more to reach Andre Hall's mark.
- Career Yards Per Carry: Mack already has this record with a 5.87 yard average. He just has to equal or beat that mark the rest of the way.
- Career Rushing Touchdowns: Mack needs eight touchdowns to tie B.J. Daniels' record of 25 rushing touchdowns. Of course, Quinton Flowers could come along and beat this record, too.
- Career Rushing Yards Per Game Average: Marlon is averaging an impressive 96.9 yards per game so far at USF, but that's still pretty far behind Hall's record of 118.7 yards per game. To overtake Hall this year, and assuming a 13-game season, Mack would have to run for 2,092 yards.
- Career Touches: Mack has 98 touches (rushes, receptions, and kick/punt returns) to go to tie Grothe's record of 547.
- Career All-Purpose Yards: Mack has 2,693 all-purpose yards so far, all rushing or receiving. He is 1,205 yards away from DeAndrew Rubin's record. If Mack leaves after this year, though, he could set this record and then see D'Ernest Johnson come along and break it in 2017. He would certainly get some more carries to add to his receiving and kick return yards.
As we've been saying a lot lately, Mack could declare for the NFL Draft after the season. He's already projected as a mid-round pick, with obvious room to rise. If he wants to go pro, that's fine with us. But if he looks at the loaded 2017 running back class (Fournette, McCaffrey, Freeman, Dalvin Cook, Samaje Perine, and others) and decides to wait for 2018, when he could be drafted a lot higher, that's fine with us too. Go get it.