CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois defensive tackle Akeem Spence has confirmed he will skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

The 305-pound Florida native told The Associated Press Wednesday that he had been thinking about the move for some time but only decided this week.

Spence says he made his decision after talking with his father. He says he's heard he could go in the draft's second or third rounds.

Illinois finished 2-10 this season and the Illini defense that had been expected to be a strength instead struggled.

Spence says there were many reasons for the team's problems but says a number of players were slow to buy into first-year coach Tim Beckman's system.

Spence was third on the team with 72 tackles including seven for losses. He had one sack.