- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 11, 2011

CHAMPAIGN, ILL. (AP) - Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure will try to cash in on a record-breaking 2010 season and enter the NFL draft.

Leshoure said Tuesday that he will skip his senior year. He 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.

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