clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Report: Texas said no to Northwestern RB transfer Venric Mark

Why did the Horns opt to pass on the highly productive back with a need at the position?


The Texas Longhorns could have potentially added former Northwestern Wildcats running back Venric Mark, but the Horns declined to accept the transfer, according to a report from CBS Sports.

A Texas native from Houston St. Pius X who enrolled at Northwestern as a member of the 2010 class, Mark opted to leave Northwestern last week for what were described as "personal reasons." In June, he was suspended for the first two games of the season for violating team rules.

Now headed for a program closer to his mother, who now lives in Lubbock, Mark reportedly had his interest in Texas shot down by head coach Charlie Strong because Strong "is cleaning house and isn't taking on new players at the moment."

Granted an extra year of eligibility after missing most of the 2013 season with a leg injury, Mark will be appealing to the NCAA for a waiver to play immediately because of those personal reasons or perhaps even because Northwestern ran him off, the loophole that Oklahoma is attempting to exploit with former Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham.

Without knowing more about the circumstances, it's difficult to say whether the NCAA will grant his request for either reason.

And since the Horns are in need of more running back depth following the dismissals of senior Joe Bergeron and sophomore Jalen Overstreet, adding Mark would have made tremendous sense in that regard considering that the former Northwestern back ran for 1,366 yards with 12 touchdowns on the ground and two punt returns for touchdowns in 2012.

But the "no new players" wording makes more sense when considering the two-game suspension of Mark this season -- why would Strong risk giving up the ground that he's gained with his team by accepting a player who faced a suspension with his previous staff?

Having reportedly declined Mark, it appears the Horns will soldier into the 2014 season with only four scholarship running backs following the news that freshman D'Onta Foreman was cleared by the NCAA last week.

Even with the addition of Foreman, depth at the position is still razor thin with junior Johnathan Gray still untested following his return from the Achilles injury that ended his 2013 season.