CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois tight end Daniel Barker officially declared for the NFL Draft Friday night. The Illini’s all-time touchdowns leader for a tight end (11) just wrapped up his fourth season in Orange and Blue, scoring a rushing touchdown in the team’s blowout win over Northwestern. Barker participated in senior ceremonies before the game.
“First off, I want to thank God for everything He has done for me,” Barker said on a Twitter post. “This would not have been possible without Him. My four years here at the University of Illinois has been amazing through all the ups and downs. The memories we have made will last forever. Thank you to Coach B, Coach Smith, the assistant coaches, and the staff. They have made me a better man and a better football player. It has been nothing but love. With that being said, after discussing with my family, I’d like to announce that I have decided to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft. Thank you to everyone in Champaign and the rest of Illini Nation.”
Barker caught 18 passes this season for 202 yards and four touchdowns. The Florida native became the first Illini tight end since 2013 to catch two touchdown passes in a game, when he hauled in five passes for 74 yards and scored twice against UTSA.