Northwestern is losing two of its biggest weapons on offense

Northwestern Venric Mark transfer
Venric Mark wants to finish his career closer to home. (USATSI)

Last week it was announced that Northwestern's Venric Mark had been suspended for the first two games of the season, meaning that the Wildcats would be without their most dynamic playmaker to start 2014. Now they'll be without him all year, as the school announced Wednesday evening that Mark was transferring.

The school says Mark is transferring for personal reasons, as he wants to play football closer to his family.

“Today is a difficult day for our football family and, most importantly, for Venric,” said Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald in a release. "We love him, and there is no doubt that we’re going to miss him as both a person and player. But this is unquestionably what is best for Venric and those closest to him."

There is no word on where Mark will transfer, but he is originally from Texas.

Mark was limited to only three games last season due to injuries, but in 2012 he had 2,166 all-purpose yards and scored 15 touchdowns serving as a running back and returner on special teams.

And as if the loss of Mark wasn't a big enough blow, Northwestern also announced that receiver Christian Jones will miss the entire 2014 season with a knee injury he suffered in practice. Jones was Northwestern's leading receiver last year, finishing the year with 54 catches for 668 yards and four touchdowns.

That is a whole lot of production that the Wildcats offense is going to need to replace in 2014.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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