Mikel Leshoure's NFL decision Tuesday

Updated: January 11, 2011, 12:50 AM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

Illinois junior running back Mikel Leshoure will announce whether he is entering the NFL draft at a press conference on Tuesday at Champaign Centennial (Ill.) High School.

According to the Chicago Tribune, however, Leshoure will leave school for the draft.

Leshoure set school season records with 1,697 rushing yards, 122 points, 20 touchdown and nine 100-yard games in 2010.

The press conference is being arranged by Culloton Strategies, a media communications company in the Chicago area, not the University of Illinois.

Illinois teammate Martez Wilson announced Monday he is leaving school for the draft.

Leshoure rushed for 917 yards and 10 touchdowns in his last five games. He drew national attention with his school-record 330-yard performance against Northwestern at Wrigley Field and shined in Illinois' win over Baylor in the Texas Bowl with 184 yards and three touchdowns.

After watching Leshoure in the Texas Bowl, ESPN NFL draft analyst Steve Muench views him as a potential third-round pick.

"I think he goes in the third round if he comes out, but again his timed speed will have an impact," Muench said. "As far as coming out or staying, I always say that it's a personal decision, and I don't know his financial situation. But I think the more experience players get at the collegiate level the better, and he could greatly improve his stock by returning to school for another year and working on his weaknesses."

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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