Mack returns to NFL's Titans for second season

George Walker IV/Pool Photo via AP

Tennessee Titans guard Rodger Saffold III, right, battles with defensive tackle Isaiah Mack during training camp on Aug. 17, 2020, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Northwest Whitfield High School's Isaiah Mack has signed as a free agent with the NFL's Denver Broncos, the team announced Thursday.

Mack, a Tunnel Hill native, is entering his third season in the NFL as a defensive tackle. He played his rookie season with the Tennessee Titans and split his second season with Tennessee and the New England Patriots.

Mack played in eight games last season — six for the Titans and two for the Patriots. Tennessee waived him in early November. He then signed with New England. Last season, Mack had three total tackles and a quarterback hit.

The 6-foot-1, 299-pound defensive tackle, went undrafted in 2019 out of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and signed with Tennessee, just about two hours away from his hometown. During his rookie season, he played in 13 games, recording 11 tackles, 1.5 sacks, eight quarterback pressures and one fumble recovery. In a week 5 game against Atlanta on Sept. 29, 2019, Mack had the best game of his young professional career with two tackles and half a sack.

He starred at Northwest on the defensive line. During his junior year in 2012, Mack racked up 137 tackles (30 for loss) and eight sacks. The next season, Mack recorded 121 tackles. Both years, he was the region defensive player of the year and made the all-state team. Last year, Northwest retired Mack's No. 9 jersey during halftime of a varsity boys game. The 2014 graduate is the first Bruin to make a NFL team's roster and play in the league.

After high school, the lightly recruited defensive tackle took a scholarship at nearby University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he finished third in program history in tackles for loss with 41 and fourth in school history in sacks with 21. He was the 2018 Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He played in 48 games with 32 starts over four seasons.

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