After playing in only three games in 2013 due to a variety of injuries, Northwestern Senior running back Venric Mark has been granted a fifth season of eligibility.
He missed three games after getting injured in the opener at California. He came back for the Ohio State game where me amassed 103 yards on 21 touches. He would get injured again a week later against Wisconsin. It was later revealed he had fractured his ankle and would miss the remainder of the season.
Mark has 1,630 yards rushing in his career. He had 1,366 yards rushing in 2012, led the Big Ten with 2,171 All-Purpose yards and was named second team All-Big Ten as a running back and first team All-America as a punt returner.
Mark's return gives Pat Fitzgerald his most dynamic player back and adds to an impressive stable of running backs for 2014. Leading rusher Treyvon Green and NU offensive rookie of the year Stephen Buckley return for Northwestern this fall.
His 2012 season was seventh best all time in rushing yards in school history. He is just 210 yards behind Byron Sanders (Barry's brother) for tenth all-time in school history. He is also just 1,000 yards away from Damien Anderson's school record for All-Purpose yards.
Without Mark and an injury riddled campaign from Co-Starting Quarterback Kain Colter, Northwestern's point production dropped five points per game from 2012.
His return in 2014, should give Fitzgerald and the Wildcats a big push in an effort to bounce back from a disappointing 2013 season. NU finished 5-7, 1-7 with their only conference win coming in the season finale at Illinois.