Illinois junior defensive end Bobby Roundtree underwent surgery Sunday after suffering a "severe spinal injury" in a swimming accident Saturday, according to the school.
Illinois head coach Lovie Smith said in a statement:
"Bobby Roundtree is exactly what you want in a student-athlete. He is a hard worker, dependable, a dedicated student and a leader. This is devastating to his teammates, the entire Fighting Illini family and his family and friends. We will give Bobby all the support possible as he battles through his recovery. Please keep Bobby and his family in your thoughts and prayers."
Several of Roundtree's teammates tweeted their support after learning of the news:
Lere Oladipo @OladipoLere
The countless talks we’ve had about our dreams and what we wanted in our futures. You were there when I was at my lowest and you know my family and I are with you this whole process. We serve a living God and I know he will work his miracles with you. Amen. @BobbyRoundtr97 https://t.co/lCFISVLKyY
Roundtree started 20 games for Illinois the past two seasons and was named an honorable mention All-Big Ten player this past campaign after registering 66 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. He led the Illini in the latter two categories.
He posted four sacks in his freshman season.
According to Illinois' press release, "Smith, several Illini coaches, along with many family members and friends, gathered at the hospital over the weekend in support of Roundtree."