Four Illini Gridders Land on Rivals.com All-America Teams
Nov. 30, 2007
Four University of Illinois football players have been named to Rivals.com's 2007 All-America teams. Senior offensive guard Martin O'Donnell took the only first-team honor, senior linebacker J Leman was named to the second-team and kicker Jason Reda and running back Rashard Mendenhall earned third-team honors.
Rivals also released its All-Big Ten team with all four players earning first-team honors as well as sophomore cornerback Vontae Davis, senior safety Kevin Mitchell and freshman Arrelious Benn as the all-purpose player. Earning second-team accolades were offensive linemen Xavier Fulton and Ryan McDonald.
The offensive line got the credit they deserve as the Big Ten's leading rushing offense. With 266.3 yards per game on the ground and a league-best 11 sacks allowed, the three starters on the line helped Illinois break a school rushing record with over 3,000 yards on the ground. They helped pave the way for Mendenhall, who broke school records for rushing yardage, touchdowns and total touchdowns in a single season. He also posted seven 100-yard rushing games, which tops the Illini record books.
Reda also gets recognition for his best career season, nailing 15-of-16 field goals. Of his 15 made field goals, eight are from over 45 yards including three 50-yarders. He was also tied the school career scoring record and set a new season field goal percentage record. His 87 points scored are second-best on the Illini team behind Mendenhall.
Defensively, Leman's selection is no surprise and is his second All-America honor this season. He leads the team in tackles for the second-straight season and helped Illinois to a top-25 rushing defense record. The names of Mitchell and Davis are all over the lists of Big Ten leaders in the secondary this season. Both players rank in the top-10 in interceptions per game and passes defended. Mitchell leads the team with five picks and Davis just behind with four. Mitchell also has 11 PBU and Davis eight.