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Illinois' Mercilus is AP All America First-Teamer
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus has been named a first-team member of the AP All America team.

Mercilus leads the country in sacks with 14 {. The junior from Garfield, Ohio, emerged this season as a key piece of a defense that ranks fifth in the country in tackles for loss and ninth in sacks.

Mercilus has now been named to nine post-season All American teams.

Illinois (6-6) will play UCLA in the Dec. 31 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco.

The bowl game could be his last for Illinois. Mercilus has said he hasn't yet decided whether to skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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