Asmussen discusses Leshoure's decision here.
CHAMPAIGN – Jazz Jones wasn't about to tell her son what to do. Just like in 2007, when he was deciding on a college.
That time, Mikel Leshoure picked Illinois. This time, one of the top running backs in Illini history picked the NFL. A year early.
"At the end of the day, nobody has to live with this decision but him," Jones said. "I didn't want the decision to be based on 'What Mama thought.' "
Leshoure is scheduled to make it official this morning at Centennial High School, where he was a two-time News-Gazette All-Stater before joining Ron Zook at Illinois.
Coming off the best single season for any Illini running back, Leshoure will immediately start preparing for the NFL combine and individual workouts. He will train in Arizona.
"I know it wasn't an easy choice," Jones said. "He did his homework as far as weighing his options. He looked at the pros and cons of leaving and the pros and cons of staying."
Of course, Leshoure sought advice from his family members and friends. But the choice was his alone.
"This is something that he wanted to do," Jones said. "He prayed on it and gave it to God. He's just going to go on with it in faith."
And he's going on with the support of Illinois coach Ron Zook. The family met with Zook on Saturday.
"He said Mikel has proven to him that he is capable of anything," Jones said. "He wished Mikel well. He spoke very highly of the maturity Mikel has shown. He said he's going to do whatever he can to help my son. I appreciate what he has done for my son."
Zook wanted to be at the press conference, but is banned by NCAA rules from attending because it is at a high school during a recruiting dead period. In fact, none of the Illinois coaches will be allowed to attend.
Jones said the feedback from the NFL has been varied.
"We've learned too much stuff," Jones said. "We've heard first and second (rounds). We've heard fourth. We've heard third. All types of stuff."