Four-Star Junior Wide Receiver Austin Mack Talks Ohio State, Friday Night Lights and More

By Jordan Wagner on July 27, 2014 at 7:00p
Austin Mack

Student Sports Photo

24 Comments

There are a number of Friday Night Lights attendees Ohio State fans will want to familiarize themselves with. Austin Mack is one such prospect.

Mack, a 2016 four-star wide receiver prospect from Fort Wayne (Ind.), was one of the top performers at Friday Night Lights. The Buckeyes offered Mack on June 11, and the talented wideout came to FNL to demonstrate his value.

He didn't disappoint. Urban Meyer gave individual attention to strong performers throughout the night, and Meyer was seen pulling Mack out of the wide receiver group several times.

"Urban Meyer was coaching me up," Mack said after the camp. "At one point he was saying, ‘We want you bad.’ He was a receiver coach for 17 years, so he was teaching me things about running routes."

Getting the opportunity to learn from the best is something the Indiana native is not taking for granted.

"I couldn’t be any more happy. Urban Meyer is one of the best coaches in the country. Being able to have that individualized attention put on me, sometimes people overlook that in the moment. I’m so thankful for it. I'm just happy. I like Urban Meyer a lot."

Last year, Eric Glover-Williams and Damon Webb stole the show at Friday Night Lights. On Friday, Glover-Williams flipped to the defensive side of the ball to go head-to-head with Austin Mack.

Glover-Williams, an Ohio State commitment, did have some success pressing Mack. Despite going against a strong senior prospect, Mack was able to hold his own and validate his hype as one of 2016's top receivers.

"I think I performed real well," Mack said of his Friday Night Lights performance. "Eric Glover-Williams is one of the best defensive backs in the country. I went against him every time, and I think I competed well and stood out from other receivers. It was all good fun."

Friday Night Lights had a positive impact on the nation's 76th-rated prospect for 2016. Like most of the prospects in attendance, Mack was blown away by the thousands of fans that showed up to watch high school prospects work out.

"It was a great experience," he said. "The coolest part was how many fans were there for a high school event. When they were cheering, there was an echo. The coaching staff was great. Everything was prepared so well."

Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State are just a few of the schools to offer. At this early point in his recruitment, Mack is trying to give all programs a fair shot in his recruitment.

"Right now, I have a top five, but I’m just really trying to take my time and keep everything even," Mack said describing his recruiting process. "After the fall, hopefully I'll have a legit list. This is the biggest decision I have in my life at this moment. I want to be as decisive as I can."

In addition to the Buckeyes, Notre Dame and Michigan State are expected to join the final list. Mack took a second to discuss what he likes about those two programs.

On Notre Dame: "It's all about tradition. When you're walking through campus, it’s cathedral this and cathedral like. Its pretty cool. But I don’t think the atmosphere is as much competition as what Ohio State throws out there."

"The thing about Notre Dame that other schools can’t give is they have an NBC contract. They get so much exposure, its insane. The education is great. Notre Dame is a pretty neat place."

On Michigan State: "I've always been a fan of Michigan State since I started the whole recruiting circuit. I finally got that offer. Coach Dantonio is a really nice guy. I really respect him and the whole coaching staff. The guy who is the real deal there is coach Mannie, who is the strength and conditioning coach. He's super down to earth and super real."

Before Mack narrows his list down, he plans to take some visits this fall. While he doesn't have specific visit plans set up, he has some ideas of where he'll be heading this fall. "I'm going to some Notre Dame games, a couple Michigan games, Tennessee-Alabama and a couple Ohio State games," said Mack.

Even with fall visits, his junior football season takes precedence. Mack is hoping a strong season can help lead Fort Wayne Bishop Luers to an Indiana State Championship.

"1,800-plus yards," Mack said of his personal goals for this season. "A super good year will help recruiting. If I do that, I'd be a big time contributor to my team and I'd like to win a state championship."

Given Austin Mack's comments, Ohio State has a decent shot at landing the four-star prospect from Indiana. Between a scholarship offer and the individual attention given at Friday Night Lights, the Buckeyes' coaching staff has made landing Austin Mack a priority for 2016.

24 Comments

Comments

TobyMagic's picture

All I can say is wow.. Precise route running, gets great separation and appears to have excellent straight line speed. 

At 6'2" - 205 he's the type of athlete we need on the outside. Hope UFM can close on this kid.

+6 HS
Jugdish's picture

When I played football, a person with that size would have played tackle. 

Remember to get your wolverine spade or neutered. TBDBITL

+7 HS
Fugelere's picture

Amen to that.  What are they feeding these kids nowadays?

+2 HS
VarsityClubMD's picture

Right?  I think this kid is bigger than our tackles were when I played.

Dot this

+1 HS
trigg03's picture

Looking like another battle between the Giants up here. I can't put MSU in the "giant" category yet but they are headed in the right direction. I hope he will be a Buckeye.

+1 HS
UrbanCulture's picture

Notre Dame sounds like a real threat. Love how many 2016 prospects we are in on!

+1 HS
Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

Yep, as soon as I read what he said about ND, I thought, man, he's been drinking their kool-aid.

Read my entire screen name....

dubjayfootball90's picture

I like this kid. Humbled and seems hungry. A go-getter. Lets get this one locked, UFM!!!

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

+2 HS
Fly Patterns's picture

I'm getting old. That kid looks so young.

+2 HS
My buck's picture

Ha! That's exactly what I said to myself. 

+1 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

He's a real head turner and one that we need going forward for the next few years 

+1 HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

It's a little surprising to me that the whole NBC thing is still weighing into decisions for ND.  Every big time school has every game televised these days.  

+6 HS
AJBor41's picture

Damn you, CBS Sports Network!

+2 HS
Buckeyeneer's picture

I didn't know who he was at FNL (I kept referring to everyone by their number, he was 244) but he really stood out. Even my untrained eye could tell. Then later you see Urban coaching him 1-on-1 and it actually gives you a sense of pride, knowing that your talent radar is at least somewhat accurate.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

+3 HS
MikeTheBuckeye's picture

I want him already. If Urban is giving this kid direct, one-on-one attention already, he must be a real performer. Is there a highlight video out there somewhere?

MikeTheBuckeye's picture

Good route running, really knows how to get behind defenses and rack up the YAC. Thanks for the link, Jordan.

Fly Patterns's picture

Looks real good in those highlights. Two questions. What is that thing they wear on their heads that looks like a helmet but doesn't have a facemask. And why does every highlight film seem to have that God awful looped techno music. There must be a cottage industry business opportunity for making good music to highlight films.

+3 HS
MN Buckeye's picture

The NBC contract is the main thing ND has going for it. That and, of course, the high level of competition in the ACC.

Quickturtle's picture

It will be interesting seeing him on the opposite sideline this year in Fort Wayne. Honesty, he did nothing against our team last year, but had no line, and a terrible QB. He's still a monster. Plus Auston Robertson from FW too. Fun year in FW.

OSUStu's picture

Rosy cheeks are a good sign.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+4 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

I get that in theory ND's NBC contract should provide constant exposure…but I rarely, if ever, watch NBC's ND coverage during the football season. Also, isn't it just home games for ND? So thats like maybe two 'big' games a year on NBC?  If thats their selling point to recruits about the exposure of their program then they must be awesome at convincing people its legit because Im having a hard to thinking it is. I'd rather be on ABC for their saturday night coverage, seems like more people would tune into that than a ND night game on NBC. 

+1 HS
GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

I hate being negative, but I really could see him heading to Notre Dame. Fort Wayne seems to be a pipeline to South Bend and South Lafayette. I know we snagged Rod Smith from Harding, but ND tends to clean house in the Fort, especially with the Catholic schools like Luers and Dwenger. He seems like a very legit prospect though. Will be fun to see where he ends up. He'll play for one of the big 3 for sure IMO.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.