Illini Running Back To Skip Final Year Of Eligibility

Rashard Mendenhall will skip his senior year at Illinois and enter the NFL draft. He rushed for a school-record 1,681 yards while leading the Illini on an unexpected run to the Rose Bowl.

Besides setting the school's single-season rushing mark, the 5-foot-11 Mendenhall also set records for rushing touchdowns, total TDs, 100-yard games, all-purpose yards and scoring in his first season as the Illini's featured back.

Mendenhall is confident he'll be drafted in the first round after getting feedback from the NFL, and some draft experts expect him to go that high.