Mack was a four star recruit out of high school, playing at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. Mack was considered to be one of the top tight ends in the country coming out by Rivals and ESPN. Up to this point Mack has been anything but. Missing the entire 2016 season due to academic reasons wasn’t the only suspension for Mack either. He has been troubled and unproductive throughout his career. But to say he is a lost cause wouldn’t be fair.
In 2015, Mack’s freshman season, he had 13 catches for 190 yards. In the limited playing time he had, he was productive. Getting derailed obviously hurts but he has worked to make his way back and improve his academic issues. Getting suspended for the 2017 Citrus Bowl against LSU shows he isn’t where he needs to be but making strides in the right direction. Mack clearly didn’t meet expectations in 2017 either, even before the suspension. He finished 2017 with 19 catches for 166 yards and 1 TD. On top of that he shared time with Durham Smythe. This post hasn’t been positive in the slightest towards Mack. He has been an underachiever and has a few suspensions, but 2018 could be when he finally puts it together.
Mack was so talented out of high school because of his size and athleticism. At almost 6’5, he has an impressive vertical and surprising speed. The Army All-American had 41 receptions, 930 yards and 13 TDs. The reason for my optimism is having last year to shake the rust off. That and expected better quarterback play. With 2017 behind him and Mack being the expected starter this season, look for his numbers to see a big bump. It has been a few years since Notre Dame has had that dominant tight end like Rudolph or Eifert. With Mack still being as athletic as he was and some needed maturity that he lacked in his earlier seasons could prove big. If Mack can’t get it together for his final ride it would fall to the unproven sophomore Cole Kmet. The season after Michigan is full of confidence booster games, so for Mack and the rest of the Irish fans, lets hope he figures it out.
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