Illini back Leshoure leaves for NFL draft - KMOV.com

Illini back Leshoure leaves for NFL draft

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Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure (5) runs against Southern Illinois safety Mike McElroy, left, during the first half of the NCAA college football game in Champaign, Ill., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman) By Seth Perlman Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure (5) runs against Southern Illinois safety Mike McElroy, left, during the first half of the NCAA college football game in Champaign, Ill., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman) By Seth Perlman
Northwestern's Justan Vaughn, right, tackles Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) By Nam Y. Huh Northwestern's Justan Vaughn, right, tackles Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) By Nam Y. Huh
Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure holds up the MVP trophy after the Texas Bowl NCAA college football game against Baylor, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010, in Houston. Illinois beat Baylor 38-14. (AP Photo/Dave Einsel) By Dave Einsel Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure holds up the MVP trophy after the Texas Bowl NCAA college football game against Baylor, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010, in Houston. Illinois beat Baylor 38-14. (AP Photo/Dave Einsel) By Dave Einsel

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure will try to cash in on a record-breaking 2010 season and enter the NFL draft.
  
During a news conference Tuesday at his old high school in Champaign, Leshoure said he'll skip his senior year at Illinois.
  
Leshoure set Illinois' single-season rushing record last fall with 1,697 yards. That broke the mark set by Rashard Mendenhall in 2007.
  
Leshoure also rushed for 17 touchdowns in 2010.
  
He's a 6-0, 230-pound native of Champaign and is projected to be taken anywhere from the first through fourth rounds in the April draft.
  
Mendenhall was the last Illini back to leave school early. He was drafted in 2008's first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  
Illini junior linebacker Martez Wilson said Monday he'll enter the draft.
  
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
 

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