Alright I can help here with some info on Mendenhall. He is a complete STUD!!!! I'm an Illinois fan and am telling you right now this kid is the real deal. I'm not the type of person to talk my teams players up. I'm a realist and there probably isn't a better back in college football. McFadden is a stud no doubt, but I don't know if he is really that much better then Mendenhall.
He is big (6'0 225), fast (4.4 forty), catches the ball as well as any back I've watched (including Reggie Bush, Edge, etc...), has great vision, and will run people over. He catches everything thrown his way and he does so with his hands not his body. Throw in the fact that Illinois really doesn't have a passing game (in our win over Penn St we didn't complete a pass in 2nd half of the game) and you can see why people are drooling over this kid. He was a highly rated kid (5 star recruit) out of Skokie, IL and is finally getting his chance. I have no idea how he pass blocks though, because we don't do it much with our backs. Usually 'Shard is running a pass route and I think Illinois relies on Juice Williams to elude the pass rush if it does come.
I would LOVE to have him in the backfield with Barber. Wow would that be a TON!!!! There has been zero talk of him coming out, but who knows with the year he is having. I'll keep everyone updates on 'Shard and how he is doing.