Jer’Zhan Newton (also known as Johnny) doesn’t know what his plans are moving forward concerning his remaining year of eligibility, but he does know that he’ll continue his football career in the NFL eventually. Newton has been outstanding for the Fighting Illini recording 5.5 sacks, 56 tackles and 12 TFL.

This season, Illinois has had an impressive defense that has been ranked nationally in several statistical categories. In Total Defense, the Fighting Illini are second overall and have only allowed 14 touchdowns this season.

Players like Newton have made it extremely difficult to find offensive success running or throwing the ball. Newton has over 50 quarterback pressures this season which rank him among the nation’s best defensive players.

“I feel like everything is in the air right now. I know I have a bright future whether it’s in the NFL or another year of college,” Newton said in a response to his decision moving forward per Joey Wagner of 247Sports.

Illinois will face off against Mississippi State in the ReliaQuest Bowl on Jan. 2. Fans will have to wait and see if that will be Newton’s final game in an Illinois uniform.