Buffalo senior outside linebacker Khalil Mack is seen as a first-rounder by most draft analysts. He also has a chance to put himself in the NCAA records book in the next few weeks.
Mack (6-foot-3, 248 pounds) -- No. 9 on NFL Media draft analyst Gil Brandt's list of the nation's top 100 seniors -- will show his wares on national TV on Tuesday night against Ohio in a Mid-American Conference East Division showdown (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2). Buffalo is the division's only unbeaten team in conference play, while Ohio is a game back. None of Buffalo's final four games are on a Saturday, and all four will be televised on an ESPN channel.
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Mack has a chance to set NCAA career records in tackles for loss and forced fumbles. He has 67 tackles for loss, eight behind the record held by former Western Michigan defensive end Jason Babin (2000-03), a first-round pick by Houston in the 2003 draft who now plays for Jacksonville. Among the players Mack has passed on the NCAA TFL career list this season are Derrick Johnson, Terrell Suggs and Ryan Kerrigan.
Mack has 12 career forced fumbles, two behind the record held by five players: Purdue's Kerrigan (2007-10), Southern Miss' Cordarro Law (2008-11), Cincinnati's Antwan Peek (2000-02), Arizona State's Suggs (2000-02) and USC's Kenechi Udeze (2001-03). Kerrigan, Suggs and Udeze were first-round picks.
In March, while weighing in at 245 pounds, Mack was clocked at 4.65 seconds in the 40 by NFL scouts.
Mack leads Buffalo with 54 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, seven sacks and three interceptions. He leads the MAC in tackles for loss and sacks. He has returned two interceptions for touchdowns, including one against Ohio State. He also had 2.5 sacks against the Buckeyes, giving him 6.5 career sacks in 10 games against "Big Six" conference teams.
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Mack also owns the school's career sack record with 25, and has been named a semifinalist for the Butkus and Bednarik awards. The Butkus goes to the nation's top linebacker, and the Bednarik goes to the nation's top defender.
Mack signed with Buffalo in 2009 as part of then-coach Turner Gill's fourth recruiting class at the school. Mack, listed by the school at 6-3 and 220 pounds at the time, signed out of Fort Pierce (Fla.) Westwood, where he had been a third-team all-state pick in Class 4A (at the time, Florida's third-largest high school classification). Among the 4A first-team picks: Baltimore Ravens rookie safety Matt Elam, a first-round pick out of Florida in the 2013 draft, and Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray. But Mack didn't receive as much acclaim from the recruiting analysts or college programs: Buffalo was his only official recruiting visit.