Will Whitney Mercilus – he of the 16 sacks in 2011 – return for his senior year?
One would assume not, but one may be wrong:
Now most will wonder if — or why — Mercilus would return to Champaign for a final season.
Producing at the same level will be difficult, and Mercilus has acknowledged he probably would face more double teams. But academics are important to his family, and he stressed the significance of earning his degree.
“It’ll come later in the week,” he said of his decision after Illinois’ 20-14 victory Saturday in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl against UCLA. “I definitely want to consult with my family and see what my coaches think. I definitely want to talk to (former Illinois coach Ron Zook) and (see) what he’s heard from the next level.”
Mercilus said he would not enter the NFL draft unless he was assured of being a first-round pick.
That’s my rule, too.