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Indianapolis Colts take USF’s Marlon Mack in 4th round

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University of South Florida running back Marlon Mack dropped a little lower than he hoped, but now knows where he will be heading to training camp in three months. The Indianapolis Colts took him with the next-to-last pick of the fourth round of the NFL Draft.

Some mock drafts had him slotted for the third round.

Mack was a first-team all-American Athletic Conference selection in all three years that he played in Tampa. Over that span he averaged 100 rushing yards per game.

He will have every opportunity to make a contribution right away. The Colts’ leading rusher is Frank Gore who, in his 13th season, is clearly on the downside of his career.

The scouts like his big play ability and note six of his 2016 touchdowns went for 43 yards or more. He will need to protect the ball better because 12 fumbles during his three years are of concern.

The NFL’s draft analysis describes Mack as a “slashing, big play running back—everything Frank Gore isn’t.” With Indy’s potent passing attack, led by Andrew Luck at quarterback and T.Y. Hilton at wideout, Mack will also be called upon to catch the ball out of the backfield.

Last season was good for him. In 2016, he caught a career-best 28 passes for 277 yards to go along with his rushing total of 1,187 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at

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