Illini surprisingly lose LB Martez Wilson to the NFL

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Florida received a very nice surprise earlier today with the announcement that cornerback Janoris Jenkins was returning for another season.

Illinois was also on the receiving end of a surprise, but in the opposite direction.

ESPNChicago.com spoke to Martez Wilson today, and the linebacker revealed that he will make himself available for the April NFL draft.

“I know I can get better but I’m ready to make this move,” Wilson said. “I can play inside or outside. I will be a versatile NFL player.”

“College has been a great experience and I’ve matured greatly. I appreciate what I have now and I’ve been making good decisions.”

Wilson, who was a first-team All-Big Ten performer in 2010, will graduate in May, which likely played a big role in his decision.

This could likely be the first of two significant losses for the Illini.  Tuesday, running back Mikel LeShoure will announce at a 10 a.m. CT press conference at his former high school which direction his football future will take.

It’s widely expected Leshoure will join his teammate in the NFL draft pool.

Arizona State hires Beau Baldwin as offensive coordinator

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
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TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State has hired former Cal Poly head coach Beau Baldwin as its next offensive coordinator.

The school announced Baldwin’s hiring of new coach Kenny Dillingham‘s staff a week after he resigned at Cal Poly.

The 50-year-old Baldwin spent three seasons as the Mustangs’ head coach, going 4-21.

Baldwin previously served as California’s offensive coordinator for three years after a nine-year stint as Eastern Washington’s head coach. He went 85-32 at Eastern Washington and won the 2010 national championship with three trips to the FCS semifinals.

Baldwin also served as Central Washington’s head coach in 2007.

Stanford QB Tanner McKee declares for NFL draft

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee is leaving school to enter the NFL draft.

McKee announced his decision on Thursday after a disappointing junior season on an overmatched Stanford team.

McKee completed 62% of his passes for 2,947 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season as Stanford went 3-9 for a second straight year.

Stanford will undergoing an overhaul with coach David Shaw stepping down after 12 seasons and several players expected to transfer.