courtesy Peoria Journal Star

2018 Peoria quarterback Coran Taylor earning B1G interest

Peoria quarterback Coran Taylor is a prospect on the rise, and the home state Big Ten school is upping its interest

Even 24 hours after winning a state championship, Coran Taylor is still trying to comprehend what he and his teammates had accomplished.

A 62-48 win over Vernon Hills in Saturday's Class 5A IHSA title game marked the first football championship in Peoria (Ill.) High School history.

"It's hitting me slowly," Taylor told Illini Inquirer on Sunday. "Its taking time for it to all settle in. But holding the trophy is when it really hit me. Finally getting something you've worked so hard and so long for was amazing."

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior quarterback was the point man for Peoria's historic season. The Lions were the first team in IHSA history to score more than 800 points (807), averaging 57.6 per game. This season, Taylor ran for 1,671 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns and passed for 1,542 yards, 17 touchdowns and three interceptions.

Taylor also was the point man for the Lions' historic game, completing 14 of 17 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 134 yards and three touchdowns.

"That was one of my personal goals to get there and win and actually do good and not be overlooked," Taylor said.

After a monster season, Taylor's popularity is on the rise.

"I've been getting a lot of notice," Taylor said. "Everybody is recognizing me now. I just spoke to some people outside who came up and congratulated me. It's been happening all day." Taylor certainly has been overlooked by colleges, likely because he missed the camp circuit last spring and summer due to a sprained knee. But college coaches are taking notice too, especially an in-state power-five program.

"The Illini coaches are on me heavy now," Taylor said.

Taylor said he's talked recently with Illinois offensive coordinator Garrick McGee, as well as head coach Lovie Smith. Taylor said the Illlini coaches want him to visit campus soon.

"Coach McGee he's a real nice guy," Taylor said. "He's just straight up with me. He said, 'Get here and we'll win big.' Lovie, he's real nice, humble. It's just the name, Lovie. He's been there to the NFL and coached there. He knows a lot. He knows twice as much football as the other coaches I talk to."

Taylor said Minnesota, Iowa, Syracuse and Iowa State also are showing interest, but that Illinois -- which has offered dual-threat quarterbacks Quincy Patterson and Kaleb Eleby -- is recruiting him the hardest.

"I would like to go to my home state school," Taylor said. "It would feel great to play for them and play in this state. That's what Lovie talked about is building it up to 'our state.' I'd really enjoy playing there."

Taylor will now focus on track -- he runs the 200m and 400m -- before going on the spring and summer football camp circuit, where his recruiting interest certainly will grow.

After leading the Lions to a state title, he's already solidified himself as a Peoria legend.

"It means a lot," Taylors said. "It put hopes into a lot of young kids. The first time in Peoria High School history is just amazing. All the alums came out and showed their respect. This is for them."

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