WCIA — Daniel Barker has taken his name out of NFL Draft consideration and entered the transfer portal, the Illinois tight end announced on social media Tuesday afternoon. Barker had previously declared for the NFL Draft on Dec. 3, after spending four years with the Illini, breaking the school’s all-time record for touchdowns by a tight end with 11. He participated in senior ceremonies before the final game against Northwestern, where he scored on a rushing touchdown.
“First and foremost, I want to say thank the University of Illinois for giving me the opportunity to earn my degree, but also to represent you on the field,” Barker wrote on a social media post. The past four year sin Champaign have been an unforgettable experience. Thank you again, Illinois, I will miss you and my experience here with never be forgotten and will always have a place in my heart.”
Barker was third on the team last season with 18 receptions for 202 receiving yards and tied for the team lead with four touchdown receptions. His five total touchdowns (4 receiving, 1 rushing) was tied for most on the team. In his career, Barker played in 44 games catching 64 passes for 827 yards and 11 touchdowns. His legacy will forever be cemented for catching the game winning pass at Michigan State in 2019 in the biggest comeback win in school history, a 37-34 victory where the Illini trailed by as many as 25 points.