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Dr. Saturday

Northwestern running back Venric Mark granted fifth year of eligibility by Big Ten

Sam Cooper
Dr. Saturday

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Venric Mark (USA Today Sports Images)

After a promising 4-0 start, Northwestern ended its 2013 season by losing seven of its last eight games to finish 5-7, but the Wildcats received some good news Tuesday heading into the 2014 campaign.

The school announced that standout running back Venric Mark was granted a fifth year of eligibility by the Big Ten after being riddled with injuries and playing in just three games last year.

Mark was an All-American punt returner and 1,000-yard rusher as a junior in 2012 and was expected to have a huge senior season for the Wildcats. His season ended prematurely when he fractured his ankle on Oct. 12 at Wisconsin.

Mark contributed mainly on special teams in his first two seasons in Evanston before breaking out with 1,366 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior, earning second team All-Big Ten honors. Mark ranks fourth in program history with 4,271 all-purpose yards.

It looks like Mark is already hard at work to make his last season a memorable one.

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