Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 4/27/12

He came out of nowhere to win the Ted Hendricks Award as the best Defensive End in all of college football. He rose from obscurity to become an All-American at Illinois. Now Whitney Mercilus is a member of the Houston Texans, joining fellow Big Ten alum J.J. Watt of the Wisconsin Badgers as the men who will fill the pass-rushing void left by the departed 2006 #1 overall draft selection Mario Williams.

Mercilus story is an uplifting one.

With a name like Mercilus, pronounced merciless, you have to be a NFL player. And a player at the very aggressive attacking position of defensive end too- that helps. Illinois Fighting Illini junior DE Whitney Mercilus is just that; a man with a name built for his role like former Illini OL Eric Block, or current Buffalo Bills DB Reggie Corner. Even if the national media were mispronouncing his name. I heard “Mer-silly-us” and “Mer-sal-lus.”

It’s just like last year when another Illini DL who had one breakout season and parlayed it into a NFL draft pick, Corey Liuget (pronounced legit) was mispronounced (Lou-jet, lou-get).

Mercilus led the nation in sacks and broke the NCAA record for forced fumbles in a season.

 

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too

 

 

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