Ryan Walters came to Champaign in 2021 as DC for Bret Bielema at Illinois. In just his second season with the program, Walters is turning in quite the performance with the Illini.

In his first season, the Illini quickly turned into a stingy defense and pulled off a pair of impressive upsets over Minnesota and Penn State. In 2022, that performance has been even better with Illinois among the national leaders in points allowed per game.

During his Monday press conference, Walters was asked about the potential of being interested in a long-term contract to remain in Champaign. OC Barry Lunney Jr. recently landed an extension during his first season with the Illinois offense.

“I love this place, I really do. This place has been awesome to me and my family,” said Walters. “I think we can have sustained success here, I think the leadership here is second to none. I think the alignment from the athletic director and head coach is exactly what you need in order to have a successful program. Their vision is the same…

“All those things point to wanting to be here long term.”