Venric Mark off to West Texas A&M

Former Northwestern running back Venric Mark told ESPN on Saturday that he is transferring to West Texas A&M.

"This is an hour and half from my mom," Mark said. "It's the best fit."

Mark said he was interested in many FBS schools, including Baylor, Houston, Texas State, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Kansas, and that some were willing to apply for an NCAA waiver for his immediate eligibility.

"But I couldn't gamble with my last year with no guarantees," Mark said.

Mark announced last week he would leave Northwestern. Mark was going to be suspended for at least a portion of the season following a violation of rules. He declined to expand on reasons for his departure aside from citing health issues involving his mother and grandmother.

"I will get my Northwestern degree," Mark said. "The is no bad blood with Northwestern at all. Me and Coach Fitz [Pat Fitzgerald] still talk. We are still family."

Mark missed most of the 2013 season with leg injuries but received an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA. He rushed for 1,366 yards and 12 touchdowns and had two punt return touchdowns during a breakout year in 2012.

Mark said he has already practiced at West Texas A&M and believes it will help prepare him for his goal to play in the NFL next season.