Illinois star DE Bobby Roundtree suffers severe spinal injury

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois star DE Bobby Roundtree suffers severe spinal injury

University of Illinois junior football player Bobby Roundtree suffered a severe spinal injury Saturday in a swimming accident near his home of Largo, Florida. Surgeons at Mease Countryside Hospital, Safety Harbor, Florida, where Roundtree is recovering, performed surgery Sunday night. No additional information is available at this time.

“Bobby Roundtree is exactly what you want in a student-athlete,” said Head Coach Lovie Smith. “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.”

Roundtree started 20 of 24 games during his first two seasons at Illinois, earning honorable mention All-Big Ten honors in 2018. He was projected as one of the Illini’s top players entering his junior season in 2019. 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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