Isaiah Mack earns spot on Mocs' All-American wall

Isaiah Mack earns spot on Mocs' All-American wall

December 12th, 2018 by Lindsey Young in Sports - College

UTC defensive lineman Isaiah Mack (8) tackles a Samford offensive player during the Mocs' home football game against the Samford Bulldogs at Finley Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

Isaiah Mack's legacy at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga isn't quite set yet, but the senior defensive lineman's ever-growing biography just added a nice chapter, one that will be forever displayed at the school.

Mack was named Tuesday to the Associated Press Football Championship Subdivision All-America first-team defense. He is the first Moc to make the AP first team since Davis Tull in 2014 and will join Tull on the program's All-American wall of fame.

"I've wanted since I got here to be on that wall," the former Northwest Whitfield High School star said. "I came to school when they first built it, and I played with most of those guys who are on it. I wanted to go out with my name on that wall."

Mack, a finalist for the 2018 Buck Buchanan Award as the nation's premier FCS defensive player, recorded 8.5 sacks to go with 11.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles this season. He finished with 21 career sacks, placing him fourth all-time at UTC behind Tull (37), Keionta Davis (31) and Joshua Williams (23.5). Mack's 41 tackles for loss are third all-time.

Among his season highlights was a dominating performance against The Citadel in which he recorded nine tackles, three sacks and four tackles for loss, leading to his selection as Southern Conference defensive player of the week. He later was voted the SoCon defensive player of the year.

Mack learned of his All-America honor late Tuesday afternoon on social media, with a little help from his brother.

"It's unbelievable, and I'm still kind of shook a little bit," he said. "My brother told me to check Twitter, and that's how I found out.

"I'm telling you, I've had a miracle season. Everything I hoped and dreamed for happened this year. This award means I am a living example of when you go through bumps and curves and if you've got good people around you and amazing teammates to push you to be the best, you can finish on the top."

Mack hopes his football story still has chapters to be written. He and defensive line teammate Derek Mahaffey will head to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to train before the NFL draft. Mack will go to California on Jan. 11 to participate in the Jan. 19 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at the Rose Bowl.

"Right now I'm just trying to work out on my own before me and Derek head to Florida for draft prep," Mack said. "Hopefully, there's still more football to play. Getting this honor today sure can't hurt."

Mack's honor extends UTC's streak of 10 consecutive years with at least one All-American.

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6296; follow on Twitter @youngsports22.


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