It happened while he was sitting in on a defensive meeting with Illini linebackers coaches Mike Ward and Al Seamonson.
For the 6-foot-2 junior from West Chester (Ohio), listening to the terminology and watching plays dissected provided an intense learning session.
"I was impressed with their knowledge of the game," Stalker said of Ward and Seamonson. "You could tell they're football guys, obviously, but their knowledge of the game is great."
Stalker spent the day touring the Illini campus and hanging around with Ward, Seamonson and current starter Mike Svetina. It was his first time back on campus since visiting for the Michigan State game in the fall.
This time around, Stalker said the coaches reinforced a family feel, an angle that Stalker says is genuine.
"Just the culture, they take everything around here and bring it all together," Stalker said.