Rivers, Myers, Pearl all sign with Illini football

Signing day video and interviews, plus an update on Peoria QB Coran Taylor

WCIA -- Fifteen players signed their National Letter of Intent to play football for Illinois on Wednesday, one guy's plans changed last minute.

Peoria High quarterback Coran Taylor's ceremony was postponed on the opening day of the NCAA's first-ever early signing period for college football. Taylor could still sign before Friday's deadline, according to his high school coach, but has to get a few things worked out first.

Three players from the Dallas, Texas metro signed their National Letter of Intent, including fellow 3-star quarterback MJ Rivers. The dual-threat standout says he feels like he can come in and be a starter early in his career.

"I'm very excited about today," Rivers said. "I've been dreaming about this every since I was younger and to finally be able to sign and go to the school of my dreams. It's a very great day."

The other two Texas signees are both from the same high school, Bishop Dunne. Four-star defensive tackle Calvin Avery and 3-star offensive lineman Kievan Myers both made things official no Wednesday.

"I just wanted to go somewhere where I could fit in with the culture and play football," Myers said. "When we first went up there, the coaching staff, they showed me a lot of love. It was like a family. As soon as I got up there, I felt a bond with them."

There are only three guys right now in the Class of 2018 who chose to play for their home state, including one just down the road from Champaign. Danville lineman Julian Pearl signed his NLI in front of family and friends at his high school Wednesday afternoon.

"It's a blessing and a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders," Pearl said. "To know it's official as of right now and it's behind me, I don't have to worry about it any more. I really feel like what his vision is. We can be a Big Ten championship contending team in my years there and I'm really excited to see how they'll develop me as a person, both physically and mentally."

Illinois' class is ranked 62nd nationally and 14th in the Big Ten right now according to 247sports.


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