Jeremy Werner // Illini Inquirer

Oswego East DB Antwain Walker commits to Illini

After stellar camp performance, Illini extend scholarship offer to in-state cornerback Antwain Walker -- and he quickly commits

Antwain Walker thought about the prospect of earning an Illinois offer after starring at Saturday's showcase camp in Champaign.

"It would be a very big offer," Walker said on Saturday. "It would be my first Big Ten offer. It'd just be great. It's home state."

So big that he accepted immediately.

On Tuesday, the 6-foot-1 Oswego (Ill.) East cornerback committed to Illinois -- just moments after Illinois officially called him with the offer. Walker was prepared for the possibility.

"I knew they were going to offer," Walker said. "After the camp, the coaches told me they were going to offer. Then I just talked with Lovie (Smith) tonight. After the offer, I gave my commitment. I had sat down and talked with my family yesterday and stuff and my head football coach. After we sat down, that was the right decision for me."

Illinois was the first power-five program to offer Walker, who also holds offers from Indiana State, North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Western Illinois. He impressed the Illini coaches during Saturday's Illini Showcase Camp in Champaign, earning MVP honors among skill players.

Walker -- a long, physical corner -- likely would have earned more power-five opportunities soon. He said several power-five programs called him after reports surfaced that he'd run a 4.48-second 40-yard dash on Saturday.

But Walker said the constant calls during the last few days were a bit too much and that he would've had a long month of camps ahead to earn those offers. He already had the offer he wanted.

"Honestly, I think I chose Illinois because they're in the rebuilding process, but they're going to be great soon," Walker said. "I want to be a part of that, of the come up. I want to be part of the come up. I just love the education I can get there. Everything's just set, playing Big Ten ball. I have a chance to play as a freshman. Everything's just right there."

Walker is the Illini's third commitment in the Class of 2018, joining fellow in-state prospects Coran Taylor (Peoria quarterback) and Julian Pearl (Danville offensive tackle). Walker said he hopes to help bring a few more in-state products to Champaign.

"I'm trying to get my best friend here with me, I'Shawn Stewart," Walker said. "I'm trying to get him down there with me. (College of DuPage cornerback) Kaleub Newman, he came to camp with me (on Saturday) and he performed well as well."

Walker said he will be the first from his family to go to college, and he's setting his sights high. He wants to pursue pre-med as an undergraduate with the hopes of becoming a neurosurgeon.

Last week, Walker had no power-five offers. Now, he's a Big Ten commit.

"I just love the coaching staff," Walker said. "They treated me well there. Just as the first time going down there, I felt like I was at home and felt that everything was there for me."

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