CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Johnny Newton has been a huge impact on the Illinois defensive line, but the sophomore almost didn’t return to play in Orange and Blue next season.

Newton was deciding between returning to Champaign or entering the draft. It was a decision he, and the other half of the “Law Firm” Keith Randolph, made together. Newton said the two were on the phone almost every day after the Bowl game trying to decide if they should declare for the NFL Draft, or continue playing for Illinois. When it came down to it, Newton said he had unfinished business he needed to take care of.

“Just unfinished business,” Newton said. “I feel like that’s the biggest reason. Anybody can say to raise my draft stock, but I just want to win something with this program. Of course, get my degree, but I know we left a lot on the field last year and I felt like us coming back, all the people who return and then all the incoming people, we can call something, that could be really big for the city.”

The Illinois spring game is Thursday, April 20th.