This doesn't come as a surprise to anybody who has paid any kind of attention to Illinois football this season -- though there are plenty of viable reasons why you wouldn't have -- but defensive tackle Akeem Spence is going to declare for the NFL Draft on Friday.
DT Akeem Spenceto declare on Friday during press conference.— Eric Young(@Eric_Young305) December 19, 2012
Obviously, this is a blow. With so many starters on this defense graduating this year there will be a lot of new starters on defense next season. Which, honestly, given the performance this year, may not be a terrible thing. That being said, Akeem Spence was not one of the problems on this defense in 2012.
He finished the season with 72 tackles, 7 tackles for a loss, a sack and a forced fumble.
Hopefully he'll be the last junior to declare for the draft from this defense. Yes, I'm looking at you, Jonathan Brown.