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Bills sign the other Mendenhall brother

The Buffalo Bills announced today that they’ve signed free agent running back Walter Mendenhall, the older brother of Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall.

Mendenhall has never played in a regular-season NFL game, but he has spent time with the Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles.

Illinois recruited Walter out of Niles West High School in Skokie, Illinois, in large part because it was hoping the presence of Walter on campus would convince Rashard to sign with Illinois a year later. It worked, and for three years Walter backed up Rashard for the Fighting Illini.

But after Rashard left school early for the NFL draft, Illinois coach Ron Zook told Walter (who had redshirted a season and still had a year of eligibility) that he was no longer wanted. So Walter transferred to Illinois State for his final college season. Rashard wasn’t happy about that and hasn’t spoken highly of the Illinois football program since his brother’s departure.

At Illinois State in 2008 Walter was the Redbirds’ leading rusher with 796 yards on 126 carries. Mendenhall will be behind Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch on the Bills’ depth chart.

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22 Responses to “Bills sign the other Mendenhall brother”
  1. jibfest says: Apr 7, 2010 4:26 PM

    Dr. Walter Mendenhall I presume? Sounds like a Doctor’s name.

  2. escoboltsfan says: Apr 7, 2010 4:34 PM

    wow… zook is a scumbag. FIGHT ON TROJANS

  3. pfii63 says: Apr 7, 2010 4:37 PM

    I know this guy – NOT the sharpest knife in the drawer and definitely thinks very highly of his own talent – has often said that he is the better back in the family. We’ll see.

  4. jermely says: Apr 7, 2010 4:41 PM

    What a douchebag move from Illinois..

  5. Nobe says: Apr 7, 2010 4:45 PM

    “Mendenhall will be behind Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch on the Bills’ depth chart”
    prior to being released before the start of the regular season.

  6. Jets474 says: Apr 7, 2010 4:45 PM

    Wow thats messed up on Illinois behalf I bet the Senator at the time had something to do with this seeing as how he likes to stick his nose where it doesnt belong.

  7. Douchebaggery says: Apr 7, 2010 4:49 PM

    Skokie represent!

  8. Joel_mac5 says: Apr 7, 2010 4:50 PM

    How do you name one son something like Rashard, then the other one Walter?

  9. Howboutdemcowboys says: Apr 7, 2010 4:50 PM

    waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind them.

  10. house068 says: Apr 7, 2010 4:54 PM

    Hey, give him a shot. You never know what might happen. I never liked Zook anyway. Guy always seemed like a D-bag.

  11. Igottz5onit says: Apr 7, 2010 4:54 PM

    One of the many reasons zook is a bad coach.

  12. straverse says: Apr 7, 2010 4:56 PM

    That’s a crazy recruitment story. But I thought it was a third Mendenhall brother since you referred to him as “the other brother” (vs. the other Mendenhall).
    Us posters on PFT are a bunch of grammar snobs.

  13. HarrisonHits says: Apr 7, 2010 4:59 PM

    Sounds like training camp fodder.

  14. dietrich43 says: Apr 7, 2010 5:23 PM

    Who’s more likely to be gone – Walter or Marshawn?

  15. escoboltsfan says: Apr 7, 2010 5:36 PM

    Jets474 niiiiiice…..

  16. kvh59 says: Apr 7, 2010 6:21 PM

    pfii63 says:
    April 7, 2010 4:37 PM
    I know this guy – NOT the sharpest knife in the drawer and definitely thinks very highly of his own talent – has often said that he is the better back in the family. We’ll see.
    If you dont think your the more athletic brother, I would question your heart.

  17. blue says: Apr 7, 2010 6:56 PM

    Michael David Smith need to check his facts and stop rumors. Fact and it is documented in the Chicago Tribune & SunTimes newspaper archive 2004 that Walter Mendenhall was recruited by Ron Turner who was the coach at Illinois and there was a request by the parents to consider Rashard because the brothers wanted to play college ball together after playing for Team West youth league and Niles West High school together. Coach Zook came after Coach Turner was fired and Walt was already at Illinois

  18. blue says: Apr 7, 2010 7:52 PM

    to pfi63
    if you really know this guy you would not make the comments you are making – Walt and Shard are humble and low key brothers
    They don’t make comments about their abilities they leave that up to others.
    besides you are not in a position to question heart or anything else.

  19. warrick1005 says: Apr 7, 2010 8:01 PM

    blue- where does michael david smith say that Zook recruited walter? he says Illinois recruited him. so smith does have his facts straight. and either way that was still an asshole move telling him they dont want him just because his brother left for the pros. but i shouldn’t be surprised saying its coming from an Illinois program, so dont feel so smart blue, u should get ur facts straight before bombing on him. it was a well written article which is rare from this site.

  20. blue says: Apr 7, 2010 8:31 PM

    to warrick1005
    the part about who recruited Walt is not the issue it was where he said that the presence of Walt on campus would convince Rashard to sign fact is Coach Turner’s running back coach was only interested in Walt initially, Rashard had not emerged yet. Also, Walt did not back up Rashard
    DuFrene and Pollard did. Nothing worked for 3 years. After the 2006 season the parents ask Zook to release Walt and he would not. and the story goes on and on with stuff the public has no knowledge of.

  21. buffalosoldier says: Apr 8, 2010 12:29 AM

    Clearly the Bills have a new personnel strategy. Since they won’t pay enough to get good free agents, they will instead bring in lesser-talented siblings of good football players. Cooper Manning at QB! Does Larry Fitzgerald have any brothers?

  22. msnyder275 says: Apr 8, 2010 10:47 AM

    How is this different from giving mom a job on campus?
    This stinks of recruiting violation.

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