Illinois' Mercilus to enter draft early

January, 3, 2012
1/03/12
10:55
AM CT
Illinois junior defensive end Whitney Mercilus will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft, the school announced on Tuesday.

Mercilus, a consensus first-team All-American, led the country with 16 sacks this season and tied Simeon Rice for Illinois' single-season record. He also broke the Big Ten's single-season record with nine forced fumbles and was ranked second in the country with 22.5 tackles for loss.
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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