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Illinois RB Leshoure leaving for draft

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By PFW staff

Just a day after losing LB Martez Wilson to the NFL draft, Illinois lost a star on the other side of the ball. RB Mikel Leshoure announced Tuesday that he will forgo his final season of eligibility and enter the NFL draft.

"I believe I've accomplished everything I can at the college level and want to go after my dream of playing in the NFL," Leshoure said.

Leshoure rushed for a school-record 1,697 yards in 2010, breaking the previous mark held by Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall. Leshoure, a first-team All-Big Ten selection in '10, rushed for 184 yards and three touchdowns in Illinois' Texas Bowl victory over Baylor.

The way we see it

Leshoure is a big back who had a breakout year in 2010. According to NFL draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki, his stock will depend on what he runs at the Combine, but a good 40-time could put Leshoure as high as the second round.

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