Illinois DE Bobby Roundtree Suffers 'Severe' Spinal Injury in Swimming Accident

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2019

CHAMPAIGN, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Bobby Roundtree #97 of the Illinois Fighting Illini is seen during the game against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Memorial Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

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:

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."

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