A mere 10 days after he and Northwestern “parted ways,” Venric Mark has found a new college football home.
Speaking to ESPN.com‘s Joe Schad, Mark confirmed that he will use his final season of eligibility at West Texas A&M. That was one of two Div. II schools Mark had considered, along with Northwest Missouri State. He had also considered walking on at Texas Tech.
However, the latter option would’ve required him to file an appeal for a waiver that would grant him immediate eligibility as he’s one class short of graduating. There were FBS programs willing to file the waiver, “[b]ut I couldn’t gamble with my last year with no guarantees,” Mark told Schad.
Mark, who is already practicing with his new teammates, mentioned Baylor, Texas State, Houston, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, SMU and Kansas as programs he looked into. Whether the interest was reciprocated is unclear.
As for choosing the D-II A&M, Mark said the proximity to his mom and an ailing grandmother proved to be a significant factor.
“This is an hour and half from my Mom. It’s the best fit,” Mark said.
In the middle of last week, it was announced that Mark had abruptly and surprisingly decided to withdraw from classes and transfer from Northwestern for “personal reasons.” That decision came a handful of days after it was announced the running back had been suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Mark, a redshirt senior, missed all but three games in 2013 due to injury and received a medical hardship waiver for the 2014 season. In 2012, he led the Wildcats in rushing with 1,366 yards and 12 touchdowns.