Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/24/12
Despite the 2-10 Illinois campaign that was put on in 2012, defensive tackle Akeem Spence managed to put up career numbers.On Friday, Spence decided that he wanted to take the next step in his football career, and head into the 2013 NFL Draft. Spence had this to say about leaving the Illinois football program: "I would like to thank the University of Illinois for giving me an opportunity to become a great student-athlete."Spence added, "The current and past coaching staffs have been very supportive throughout my collegiate career. I can't say enough about the extremely loyal fans and the entire athletic department, who have all made my collegiate experience an unforgettable one. This has been a very important time in my life. My family and I look forward to the journey ahead, and we expect nothing less than greatness on and off the field."The announcement was expected for the whole week, and despite his announcement, he must excel in his pre-draft workouts in order to rebound from his over-hyped 2012 season. Spence has decent size at 6-1, 305 pounds, but has surprising quickness at the line. Spence had 72 tackles and seven tackles for loss in 2012 following a sophomore year in which he had 69 tackles and 5.5 sacks. He has been viewed as an NFL prospect for some time because of his size and strength.My prediction is Spence going over to Denver in the third round. Three out of the four starting defensive tackles on the Broncos' roster are scheduled to become free agents. Spence could see starting time as a second or third-rounder on an NFL roster. 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Gordon Hayward: Relationship with Brad Stevens ‘overhyped’

Raiders to limit Marshawn Lynch's workload in 2017?

Kobe Bryant responds to if he is influencing Kyrie Irving

Andy Reid chastises Tamba Hali for social media outburst

Report: 49ers RB Carlos Hyde could be 'surprise cut'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Every 2009-2016 NBA MVP will now play for Warriors or Cavaliers

Mike Tyson weighs in on Conor McGregor’s chances of beating Floyd Mayweather

Report: Robert Griffin III scheduled to work out with Chargers

Report: Derrick Rose will sign with Cavs

Mississippi State fan uncovered infamous Freeze phone call

Report: Tigers, Cubs talking Justin Verlander trade

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker