"I called Coach Zook to let him know my decision. He was pretty excited. He wasn't on campus for my visit, so he's gonna come down for one of my games this year."
The 6'-2", 200 pounder visited campus less than a month ago. He explains what drew him to the school.
"I liked my visit a lot. The academics are great there. That's really important. And then the campus and the coaches. The coaches really wanted me. That's a big thing."
Barton's recruiting coach is Mike Gillhamer, who will also be his position coach in college.
"I think he's a great coach. He comes from the NFL, so he's one of the best coaches out there. That's important."
He doesn't know yet which safety position he will play at Illinois.
"They just plan on using me at safety. Whether it's strong safety or free safety, I don't know which one yet."
Barton's attributes for the position suggest he will fit in well in his new conference.
"I'm good sized for a safety, so in the Big 10 that should help me a lot. I come downhill on the run. I'm good at reading and making tackles."
He is still contemplating a college major.
"I haven't decided on a major yet. Maybe Business or Communications."
Barton hopes to see an Illini game this fall.
"I want to get to a game, I just haven't figured out which one yet."
The Lake Highland Prep product plays receiver also. He has high hopes for his team this fall.
"We're pretty good. We're returning people. We have a lot of seniors who will be pretty good players this year. And a lot of kids getting college attention, which is good. We have some inexperience on the line, but we're getting them ready to go."
His commitment is fairly firm, although that might change if certain schools offer this fall.
"I'm still looking around a little bit, but I'm not sure yet."