Khalil Delshon Mack (February 22, 1991) is one of the most lethal pass-rushers in NFL history. In college, Mack was a First-Team All-American and MAC Defensive Player of the Year. Khalil has only been in the NFL for 5 years, but he has already had a decorative career. He has been nominated to four consecutive Pro-Bowls, three First-Team All-Pro teams, won the Butkus Award and NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award, and was the first player in NFL history to earn First-Team All-Pro honors at two different positions. However, Mack has not always been this famed; he was once an unknown linebacker trying to make a name for himself.
Khalil and his two brothers, Sandy Jr. and LeDarius, were raised by their two parents, Yolanda and Sandy Mack. Khalil grew up on the east coast of Florida, in a town called Fort Pierce. He started sports at the age of five, originally taking a liking to basketball. As Khalil grew older, he became passionate about basketball and obsessed with working out. By the time he began high school, Khalil thought that through basketball, his dream of an athletic scholarship would soon come to fruition. Unfortunately, in his sophomore year, Khalil suffered a torn patella during a pickup basketball game and his basketball career came to a screeching halt.
As Khalil started rehab, he grew dedicated and infatuated with the entire process and began thinking about future possibilities as a physical therapist. However, Waides Ashmon, the football coach for Westwood, Khalil’s high school, had other plans. He noticed Khalil’s major strength improvement after rehab and recruited him on the team. Khalil joined the team his senior year, where he recorded 140 tackles and 9 sacks. Because he had only played on the team for one year and he did not have enough film, most Division 1 programs were hesitant to extend him an offer. However, the University of Buffalo took the chance by offering him a full paid athletic scholarship.
After being redshirted his freshman year, Mack made his presence felt early and often, setting a school record by making the most tackles for loss in one season as a freshman (14.5). During his career at Buffalo, he amassed 327 tackles, 28.5 sacks, 4 interceptions, 16 forced fumbles (an NCAA record), 4 fumble recoveries, and 2 blocked kicks.
In the 2014 NFL Draft, Mack was selected fifth overall by the Oakland Raiders, making him the highest selected player from the University of Buffalo ever. In 2015, Mack recorded five sacks against the Denver Broncos, tying a Raiders franchise record for sacks in a game. On September 1, 2018, Mack was traded to the Chicago Bears, where he became the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
Chicago is where Mack remains. You can catch him every Sunday wearing number 52, sacking the quarterback, forcing and recovering fumbles, and even scoring touchdowns. Mack is able to do all of this while playing the game he loves with pride and joy.