Midseason Awards Abound For Illini Gridders
Oct. 11, 2007
One of the main reasons for Illinois' offensive success thus far this season has been the emergence of the running game, which is currently fifth in the nation at 261.2 yards per game. Two of the biggest reasons are O'Donnell and Mendenhall, who are second-team selections. The honor puts Mendenhall among the top-4 running backs in the country, and O'Donnell among the top-10 offensive linemen. Mendenhall has rushed for 128 yards per contest and is averaging 6.8 yards per carry, which is the fourth-best in the NCAA. O'Donnell has led a line that has given up only seven sacks all season and the total offense numbers are the fourth-best in school history (412.5).
Leman is also a semifinalist for the Draddy Award. One of college football's most sought after and competitive awards, the Draddy Trophy recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership. Leman has already graduated from the U of I with a degree in speech communications and will complete his master's degree in human resource education in December. He carries a 3.71 GPA and has twice been named a CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selection.