(CBS) — Northwestern star tailback and kick returner Venric Mark will be transferring “for personal reasons,” the school announced Wednesday.
Mark was already suspended for the team’s first two games of the season. In 2012, the All-American punt returner rushed for 1,366 yards and 12 touchdowns.
“Northwestern has been an indescribable experience for me,” Mark said in a statement. “It has been my home for four years, and has molded me into the man I am. I’m one class shy of the Northwestern degree I’ve worked so hard for, and I will graduate. I’m devastated to leave my second home, but life is full of challenges and I’ve been presented with another one. Right now this is what is best for me and my family.”
Mark was granted a fifth year of eligibility after the Big Ten approved his medical hardship waiver following an injury-plagued season in 2013.
“Today is a difficult day for our football family and, most importantly, for Venric,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said in a statement. “We love him, and there is no doubt that we’re going to miss him as both a person and player. But this is unquestionably what is best for Venric and those closest to him.”
Mark wasn’t the only loss for the Wildcats on Wednesday. Northwestern also lost receiver Christian Jones, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice. Jones was the Wildcats’ leading receiver last season with 668 receiving yards and four touchdowns.