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Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Illinois' Mercilus to enter draft early

By Scott Powers

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.