The championship celebration continues for Peoria football and quarterback Coran Taylor. More than two months, the Lions are still reveling in the program's first state championship victory -- as they should.
"We're having our ring ceremony on Friday," Taylor told Illini Inquirer on Wednesday. "(The ring) is nice. It's real big."
Taylor also made a name for himself after leading the Lions -- and their historic offense, which averaged 57.6 points per game -- to the Class 5A championship. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior quarterback ran for 1,671 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns and passed for 1,542 yards, 17 touchdowns and three interceptions.
In December, Illinois became the first to extend a scholarship offer to Taylor. Since then, Illinois State and Miami (Ohio) also have offered. Ball State also has shown interest. But Taylor's recruitment hasn't taken off like he expected.
"It's been all right," Taylor said. "It's been kind of slow."
But the Illini have made Taylor a priority and remain in constant contact with him.
"I talk to them almost every day," Taylor said. "I talk to (offensive line) coach (Luke) Butkus a lot. We talk about just anything. He's a real cool dude. We joke around a stuff. I feel good about them, it's just my recruiting is still open. It's a nice place with nice coaches and everything. The relationship with the coaches is real close. I talk to every single one of them."
Taylor said in December that the Illinois was "special because I'm an Illinois kid." He still likes what Illinois offers.
"It's real close to home," Taylor said. "I like their spread offense now that they switched it. I'm kind of used to that offense more than what they used to run."
Illinois adds more comfort following the addition of Peoria defensive tackle Kendrick Green, who also helped pave the way and protected Taylor as an offensive lineman. Green, a four-star prospect, signed with the Illini last week.
"It was a tough recruiting process for him," Taylor said. "He had to make a lot of big decisions. I learned to be patient and to make wise choices. It'd be nice to play with him there, but I still have my options open."
Taylor soon will check out some of those other options. He said he plans to take junior-day visits to Minnesota and Illinois State and then "see what else is coming my way."
Taylor said he may not attend an Illinois junior day -- but for a reason.
"I'll go to another day, so it's not as crowded and I can spend more time with them," Taylor said. "So I'll get to see them then."