CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) – Illinois football coach Ron Zook says he’s talked with junior tailback Mikel Leshoure about the possibility of leaving for the NFL a year early.

The former NFL assistant said Tuesday he’ll help his tailback if he believes leaving is the right move.

Leshoure is second in the Big Ten in rushing with 1,371yards. He’s averaging 124 yards a game and was named this week to first team the All Big Ten.

Zook pointed out, though, the possibility of an NFL lockout next season affects players’ decisions this year.

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