Sophomore running back Josh Mack, who led the Football Championship Subdivision in rushing during the regular season and is a finalist for the STATS Walter Payton Award given to the FCS Offensive Player of the Year, likely has played his last game in a University of Maine uniform.
According to sources close to the program, Mack has decided to transfer to a higher-level program, most likely a Football Bowl Subdivision institution.
He will have to sit out a season before he is eligible to compete at another Division I institution as required by NCAA transfer guidelines.
UMaine head coach Joe Harasymiak was on the road recruiting and couldn’t be reached for comment on Monday.
UMaine athletics Tyson McHatten wrote in a text message that they, “don’t have any transfer news right now.
“If any news or transactions are completed, we will report them at that time.”
Mack said in a Facebook message, “No disrespect, sir, but I don’t want to talk about this at this time.”
UMaine students on Monday began their semester final exams.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Mack ran for 1,335 yards on 243 carries and ran for at least 100 yards in seven of UMaine’s 10 games this fall. It was the fourth highest total in school history.
The shifty and hard-running Mack, who rushed for over 200 yards against Bryant and Rhode Island, also led the country in rushing yards per game (133.4) and was third in all-purpose yards (161.5 ypg).
He was UMaine’s second-leading receiver with 30 catches for 209 yards and he returned two kickoffs for an average of 35.5 yards.
Mack led the Colonial Athletic Association in rushing touchdowns with nine and in yards per carry (5.49).
In addition to being named an All-CAA first-team selection, he was an All-ECAC and All-New England pick.
The native of Rochester, N.Y., was the CAA’s seventh-leading rusher as a freshman in 2016 with 712 yards on 140 carries.
“He was one of the best freshman football players in the conference,” said University of New Hampshire head coach Sean McDonnell prior to the 2017 season.
Mack used his weight training regimen to add 15 pounds to his frame in the offseason and in August said he had gotten “bigger, stronger and faster.” He also spent a lot of time watching video to analyze his strengths and weaknesses and said he “matured as a runner” thanks to those sessions with his coaches.
The Hero Sports FCS freshman All-American said he “wants to make it to the next level” and he apparently is going to move on to try to enhance his chances of doing so.
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