Northwestern RB Venric Mark could be in line for redshirt

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Northwestern running back Venric Mark was supposed to be one of the most explosive players in the Big Ten as a senior this fall. It turns out that Mark might get a chance to be one of the most explosive players in the Big Ten as a senior next fall.

Because of various injuries, Mark has seen action in three games this season and has played in only one full game; he has a redshirt season available and Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald said Monday during his weekly news conference that he has talked with Mark about taking a redshirt this season.

The redshirt isn't a given -- Mark played in two games earlier this month -- but Fitzgerald said he thought Mark would be granted one by the NCAA if he asked.

Mark (5-foot-8, 175 pounds) ran for 1,366 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior in 2012, and his speed, elusiveness and versatility (he is an excellent return man) were such that he was considered a potential third-day draft pick despite his lack of size. Now it's possible he'll be a third-day pick in 2015 instead of 2014.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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