2016: Willie's Bullies Chronicling USF Football's Class of 2016 Series USF Football Recruiting Class of 2016

USF Class of 2016 Chronicle: RB Elijah Mack

USF Class of 2016 Chronicle: RB Elijah Mack (Charlotte HS) by Matthew Manuri SoFloBulls.com

Round five in the USF Recruiting Class of 2016 Chronicle series introduces you to a Punta Gorda prodigy looking to bring the double Mack attack to Tampa. This versatile sensation joins 11 fellow Bulls that hail from southwest Florida. Meet 5’11, 214 pound class of 2016 running back Elijah Mack.

RB Elijah Mack (Punta Gorda, Fla.-Charlotte HS) USF NSD 2016 Profile Pic (1080x1080)Before transferring due to the dismissal of Imagine Head Coach Jeppe Bennetsen, Mack led the 239/941 area in rushing with 851 yards and 10 touchdowns. After transferring to Charlotte, Mack racked up 1,120 yards on the ground via 183 carries (6.1 yds./att.), posted five 100 yard games, and broke the plane 16 times during his junior season. In 2015, Mack dashed for 1,280 yards on 181 touches (7.1 yds./att.), tallied six more 100 yard games, and punched in 23 touchdowns. Mack also hauled in seven passes for 94 yards and two more scores. Mack finished his high school career after thrashing the opposition for 3,251 yards and 49 touchdowns.

“USF told me they were only taking one running back, so I jumped at that,” said Mack, who held 12+ offers from Division I programs, most notably Arizona, Cincinnati, Indiana, UCF, and East Carolina. “I had a couple good offers, but stuck with USF the whole way.” “From the beginning I pretty much knew where I wanted to go.” “I visited USF on Saturday and felt it was the right fit,” Mack added. “I loved how USF looked. I could tell the coaches liked me, and I could relate to them. I know Coach Taggart has a plan for me.”

USF RB Elijah Mack (Punta Gorda-Charlotte) vs South Fort Myers 2015 SoFloBulls.com (1711x1406)The USF recruiting class of 2016 ranked 2nd in the AAC, giving the Bulls three-straight classes rated No. 1 or No. 2 in the conference. The Bulls class finished ranked No. 64 nationally by 247Sports (No. 63 by ESPN), ahead of seven Power 5 conference programs and with more four star recruits than 24 Power 5 programs. Yes, 24. Another class that was only ranked low due to the low number of total signees, USF’s 2016 recruiting class is one of the most talented groups of any team in the Group of Five conferences. All 16 of USF’s signings were 3-stars or better, which is quite rare for teams outside of the major power-conference programs.

The Charlotte High standout was named to the 2015 Florida All-State Class 6A Second Team following his stellar senior season. Mack is consensus 3 star recruit, 84.37 in the 247 Composite, 83 by 247Sports, 75 by ESPN, 5.6 by Rivals, and rated as the 10th ranked running back in Florida by Scout. After watching Mack’s highlight reels numerous times, I noted the following: Great vision and hits the hole quickly; perfect size similar to Marlon Mack and D’Ernest Johnson; ability to keep his legs churning with tacklers on him; USF’s new prototypical running back; dynamic side-to-side slasher; explosive speed with nice top end; bruising back with the size to carry the same running style at the collegiate level. {HUDL HIGHLIGHTS HERE}

USF RB Elijah Mack (Punta Gorda-Charlotte) The hard-nosed halfback sports a 4.6 40 yard dash and the USF staff believes Mack’s ceiling is comparable to current USF standout Marlon Mack at the next level. When Elijah was asked if he knew the elder Mack Tampa tailback, the fellow 941 product responded, “I know him a little bit.” Elijah should get to know Marlon like the back of his hand, mimic the 2016 AAC Preseason Player of the Year’s work ethic, and aim to follow in the two-time American Athletic Conference rushing leader’s footsteps.

After all, why have just one Mack when you can furiously mow down opposing defenders with the double Mack attack. I fully expect Mack a las dos to redshirt in 2016 due to the Bulls having the clear-cut best running backs stable in program history. It’s time for the Bulls to live up to the hype in 2016, relentlessly punish the first three opponents and arrive undefeated to the September 24th showdown with Florida State. A 4-0 start in 2016 would put the Bulls in the driver seat for the AAC Championship and set the university apart in the Big 12 expansion race.

by Matthew Manuri
Publisher & Editor, SoFloBulls.com |@Mcknurkle

Recruiting Profiles and Highlights

Rankings ESPN 247 Comp Rivals Scout
Stars 3 3 3 3 3
Grade 75 83 84.37 5.6 N/A

RB Elijah Mack Gridiron 2Day Play of the Week

RB Elijah Mack National Signing Day 2016

#USFCartoonNetwork National Signing Day GIF: Elijah Mack

ESPN Scouting Report

Size-Strength-Speed Very good size to speed ratio. Compact, sturdy and strong through base.
Vision/Patience One-cut and get North type of back. Not a pick and slide runner.
Agility/Acceleration Shows good burst and acceleration through the hole. Has the top-end speed to go the distance in the second level.
Power/Balance Most productive when he gets North; quick to gain momentum and is load for smaller DB’s to come up and arm tackle. Strong, balanced runner who thrives on contact and dropping the pads. Powers through first contact and keeps his legs churning to move the pile.
Bottom Line Under the radar runner with good load-back measurables. College ready frame and running style. Quality prospect.

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