Khalil Mack listened to his mom last year when deciding whether to enter the 2013 NFL draft. Smart move.
At the time, Mack was told that he was viewed as a fourth-round pick. After a brilliant senior season at Buffalo, Mack is now certain to be one of the first few players to have his name called tonight. He’ll make several million more dollars as a result of his decision to return to school, but the decision was less about the opportunity to increase his draft stock than to please his mom, a teacher who stressed the importance of education.
“I couldn’t do that to my mom, couldn’t leave school without my degree, couldn’t do that to her or myself,” Mack told USA Today.
His mom, Yolanda, gives the credit to her son for taking his education seriously.
“He’s an amazing child, we’re very proud,” she said. “He will do a phenomenal job at the next level. An education was always very important for Khalil. That’s why he didn’t play a lot of sports in school.”
Mack played only basketball until his junior year in high school, when the football coach convinced him that he was simply too big and strong an athlete not to be a football player. That was good advice, as was his mom’s, to finish his college career.