I understand that retiring a number should not be something taken lightly but if there were ever a case for a program to retire a number Khalil Mack is that case. 46 has not been used since Mack left, clearly it is unofficially retired, it is time to make it official.
Is there any reasonable argument that Khalil Mack was not the best football player in UB history? Is it even close? The man dominated the MAC and completed his career with the NCAA record for forced fumbles and tackle for loss. You can make an argument that he has these records because he played four full years where other top college players leave early so their career totals are not as eye popping. True, but he would have been drafted had he left early but he stayed.
Not that I believe success at the NFL level would be required to support the argument but Mack’s performance in the NFL has him on pace for a Hall of Frame career. In 6 years, he has been selected to the Pro Bowl 5 times, first team all pro 4 times (in 2015 a first team all pro in two different positions) and a defensive Player of the Year. Yeah, he is kind of good and hopefully far from being done. We all want Buffalo football to keep getting better but do we expect to produce another player with this type of NFL success anytime soon?
Aside from the Fred Lee incident, I have not heard of Mack being anything but a solid citizen and an alum we can all be proud of both in his profession and how he goes about his life. Full disclosure, I do not know the man and basing my statement on the lack of negative stories about him. I will be honest, I am a little disappointed be has not embraced the endorsement world much, I would like to see his face out there more. The more buzz the more people will look him up and in that history will be UB. His life, clearly he does not need the money, and if he wants to keep a low profile I can respect that.
Money. It has come up a couple of time over the years, most notable related to the fieldhouse. Would I have loved the Khalil Mack Fieldhouse, sure but what money he gives or does not give to the university should not be part of the discussion about whether or when his number is retired. It is his money and he is free to do with it as he pleases. The case for retiring his number is about is play while at UB and to a lesser extent the NFL.
UB football has very little in the way of history and we should be honoring the brightest spots in what history we do have. His brother is not on the team anymore, lets give him a reason to come back for a celebration.