Ryan Walters seems impressed with Gabe Jacas. The defensive coordinator is just hoping the freshman sticks around Champaign for a while.

During his Wednesday press conference, Walters admitted it’s easy to mistake Jacas for an older player and not a true freshman. Walters also has a message ready for NFL scouts who ask about the defender.

The 6-foot-3, 265-pound Edge prospect out of Port Saint Lucie, FL is tied for the team lead in sacks with 4. Jacas recorded a sack last weekend along with 6 tackles in a win over Minnesota. He also collected a sack against Chattanooga and 2 against Virginia.

Overall, Illinois’ defense has registered 23 sacks. Jacas is tied with sophomore Jer’Zhan Newton and Keith Randolph Jr. for the team lead.

The Fighting Illini have rushed out to an impressive 6-1 start under head coach Bret Bielema. Some might view it as surprising as the Illini were picked to finish 6th in the B1G West.

Jacas has clearly been a factor in the team rattling off five straight victories. A 3-point road loss to Indiana is Illinois’ only blemish.

Jacas will have to wait for another sack this week as the Illini are on their bye week. They get back to the field against Nebraska next weekend.