USF all-time leading rusher Mack to enter draft

Marlon Mack tied the USF single-game rushing record with 275 rushing yards in his first collegiate game. He now will leave the school early to enter the NFL draft. ORACLE PHOTO/ADAM MATHIEU

In one of the more surprising events of the offseason, USF's all-time leading rusher Marlon Mack has announced Thursday that he will be leaving the school early and entering the NFL draft.

Mack was a crucial part of USF's turn around — in tandem with quarterback Quinton Flowers among others — from the first time he stepped on the Raymond James Stadium grass, setting the school's single-game rushing record with 275 yards in his debut.

In a tweet thursday night Mack said, "This was not an easy decision … I've decided to enter the NFL draft. I would like to thank the University of South Florida for giving me the opportunity to play the game I love."

Mack enters a loaded running back class for this year's draft that includes FSU's Dalvin Cook, LSU's Leonard Fournette and Texas' D'Onta Foreman.

The 6-foot, 210-pound junior rushed 1,187 yards and 15 touchdowns this season and became one of three backs in state Division-I-A history to rush for 1,000 yards in three straight seasons.

Mack ends his career with 3,609 yards and 33 touchdowns in 36 career games.