Coran Taylor had never before participated in a showcase camp. So just like when puts on pads for Peoria, some butterflies were fluttering when he took the Halas Hall practice field in shorts on Sunday at Nike The Opening Regional.
"You feel the same nervousness and all that," Taylor told Illini Inquirer. "But as soon as you get going, you're there. Once you get a rhythm, it starts to go well."
Taylor was a bit shaky at the start of throwing drills on Sunday but settled in as the camp progressed. It was an important first step for what Taylor hopes is a spring/summer showcase of his talent.
"I just want to ball out and make sure there are as many eyes on me as possible," Taylor said. "I want to make sure a lot of people see me."
Taylor led Peoria to its first state championship, running for 1,671 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns and passing for 1,542 yards, 17 touchdowns and three interceptions. Yet, he still holds just three scholarship offers.
Some have taken notice of his talent. Illinois, Ball State and Illinois State have extended scholarship offers. Scout.com recently ranked him the top senior quarterback in the state of Illinois and the No. 29 quarterback in the Class of 2018 nationally.
On Sunday, he competed alongside some of the Midwest's top quarterbacks, including Wisconsin commit Ben Bryant (Lyons Township) and Virginia Tech commit Quincy Patterson (Chicago Solorio), who took home the regional's quarterback MVP award.
"You learn some stuff from those guys, and they learn stuff from you as well," Taylor said. "It's just a lot of taking stuff in and giving out at the same time."
Taylor hopes camps like Sunday will "get as many coaches to talk to me as possible," he said. A few more Big Ten schools are starting to show more interest.
"I've been talking to Indiana and Rutgers right now, and Illinois," Taylor said. "I think I'm going to Indiana on Tuesday to see practice. Rutgers, they want to come down and see me throw. It's a waiting game right now."
This fall, Illinois was the first program to jump in and offer Taylor, who since has visited multiple times. And Taylor said he plans yet another unofficial visit to Champaign next week during his spring break.
Many have assumed Taylor will pick Illinois -- and Taylor said Illinois is pushing for his commitment.
"They tell me a lot, 'We're just waiting. We're waiting for it,'" Taylor said.
But Taylor isn't ready yet.
"I'm just going to take my time and go through the process," Taylor said. "I'm not in a rush."
Taylor feels the process is going a bit slow but said Sunday was a step in the right direction.
"I feel good because most of the drills we did today I do at home with my quarterback coach," Taylor said. "I felt good about a lot of the things that I did today. I feel like I competed a lot in the drills that I ran. I felt like there was a lot of competition. I saw a lot of good quarterbacks here."