Mack leaving for NFL; Strong reportedly hires DC
A dizzying news day at USF continued Thursday evening with all-time rushing leader Marlon Mack announcing via Twitter he will forego his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL draft.
Only the third player in state history to amass three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, he joins a loaded NFL Draft class featuring fellow underclassmen Dalvin Cook (FSU), Leonard Fournette (LSU) and Christian McCaffery (Stanford).
"The decision was not easy but after weeks of contemplating...I've decided to declare for the NFL Draft," Mack tweeted. "I would like to thank the University of South Florida for giving me the opportunity to play the game I love. ... I will always be a Bull!!"
Mack rushed for 1,187 yards and 15 touchdowns during USF's first 11-win season in program history. He broke Andre Hall's 11-year-old USF career rushing record of 2,755 yards in a 45-20 victory at Cincinnati on Oct. 1.
A starter since his dazzling 275-yard, four-touchdown debut as a freshman in USF's 2014 opener against I-AA Western Carolina, the Sarasota native will conclude his college career with 3,609 rushing yards — seventh all-time among Division I-A collegiate rushers in Florida — in 36 games.
Mack is also USF's career all-purpose yards leader (4,107) and holds two other records with 20 career 100-yard rushing games and 32 career rushing touchdowns.
Mack's announcement came shortly after the school confirmed former Texas offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert will join Charlie Strong in the same capacity at USF.
Additionally, Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel reported Brian Jean-Mary -- Strong's recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach at UT -- will be named Strong's defensive coordinator for the Bulls.
An Apopka High teammate of Warren Sapp, Jean-Mary was the only member of Strong's original UT staff in the same position when Strong was dismissed as Longhorns coach.
He previously has worked at four Division I programs, but never has been a defensive coordinator.