If you’ve been keeping up with the Hustle Hall of Fame over the last few weeks, you are aware of what’s happening. Fan voting has decided the first of two entrants for each MAC member to craft an inaugural Class of 2017 for the Hustle Hall of Fame. Next up to be inducted for the BUffalo Bulls is former linebacker Khalil Mack.
Victoria Speckman was the other Buffalo inductee to the Class of 2017.
The Black Hole in Oakland, California, is a place you don’t want to find yourself as an opposing player. It’s rough, it’s muddy and it most certainly has a chip on its shoulder. No one personifies that better in the modern age than Khalil Mack, who disrupted offenses on his own at the University at Buffalo.
Before he became a Top 5 NFL Draft pick, Mack was an under-recruited linebacker hailing from Fort Pierce, Florida. He accepted the only offer he had out of high school to play at the University at Buffalo.
Mack became a blip on the national radar in his junior season, collecting 94 total tackles, eight sacks, 21.5 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. By the end of his senior season, professional scouts salivated at the stat sheet. Mack collected 100 total tackles, 10.5 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, three interceptions and two defensive touchdowns.
Mack was named the 2013 MAC Defensive Player of the Year for his efforts and finished with 327 total tackles, 74.5 tackles for loss, 28.5 sacks and four interceptions, two defensive touchdowns and 16 forced fumbles in his illustrious career as a Bull.
His transition to the professional level has proved to be seamless. Mack has started every game since his rookie season, amassing 170 total tackles, 30 sacks, eight forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, one interception and one defensive touchdown.
Playing a hybrid linebacker/defensive end role for the Raiders, Mack has been named to two Pro Bowl teams and was most recently awarded the 2016 AFC Defensive Player of the Year.
He’s got a lot of career left to go, but Mack has shown he already belongs with the elite class of athletes. He most certainly belongs in our Hustle Hall of Fame.