Three-star quarterback Coran Taylor pledged to Illinois. Lovie Smith and Co. have their first commitment in the 2018 class.
Illinois is on the board in the 2018 college football recruiting game.
Head coach Lovie Smith and the Fighting Illini landed one of their top recruiting targets, getting a pledge from three-star quarterback Coran Taylor on Monday. Taylor made the announcement on his Twitter page and becomes the first member of Illinois’ Class of 2018.
The dual-threat signal-caller garnered some interest from Northwestern and Iowa, but only Illinois State and Miami (OH) offered scholarships to him outside of the Illini.
Taylor is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound Peoria, IL, native who received a scholarship offer from the Illini shortly after leading his team to an IHSA 5A state championship last year. In the win, Taylor recorded 215 yards and two touchdowns through the air, and he added another 134 yards and three scores on the ground.
For the 2016 season, he put up 1,542 passing yards, 1,671 rushing yards, 39 total touchdowns and only three interceptions.
The commitment of Taylor not only gives the Illini an accomplished dual-threat option at the quarterback position, but he provides the program with an in-state player. The Illini had recently missed on top in-state targets Luke Ford (Arkansas), Quincy Patterson (Virginia Tech) and Devin O’Rourke (Northwestern).
Smith and his staff know that they need to build a fence around the state and gather the Land of Lincoln’s best players if the Illini want to move up the Big Ten West division standings. Taylor could possibly be a key cog for this class if he helps recruit some of the team’s other targets in 2018 and even 2019.
As for 2017, the Illini still expect JUCO commit Dwayne Lawson to eventually end up in Champaign and compete for the starting job in fall camp with returnees Chayce Crouch and Jeff George Jr.