Big Ten

All three Buckeyes QBs make Maxwell Award watch list


All three Buckeyes QBs make Maxwell Award watch list

How stacked is Ohio State's roster heading into this season?

Well, the watch list for the Maxwell Award — which annually honors college football's best player — came out Tuesday, and four Buckeyes made the list, including all three quarterbacks competing for the starting job.

That means five percent of the entire list wears scarlet and gray.

J.T. Barrett, Cardale Jones and Braxton Miller all landed on the list, despite the fact that only one will end up Ohio State's starting quarterback this fall. There's no indicating which guy will win the gig, but all have pretty impressive credentials. Miller is a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. Barrett was last year's fifth-place finisher in Heisman Trophy voting. Jones led the Buckeyes to three postseason wins en route to a national championship.

[MORE BIG TEN: Meyer says recovering Miller, Barrett just about at full strength]

Running back Ezekiel Elliott is on the list, too, and he might be the one who ends up with the best chance of winning this particular award. He's also the preseason Heisman favorite after he rushed for 696 yards and eight touchdowns in Ohio State's three postseason wins over Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon.

The Buckeye quartet, though, was hardly the only Big Ten representation on the list. Eight others landed a spot, including Northwestern running back Justin Jackson. As a freshman last season, Jackson rushed for 1,187 yards, which ranked seventh in a league loaded with top talent at the running-back position. Aside from the returning Elliott, the other five Big Ten backs with more yards than Jackson last season were all selected in the NFL Draft.

Also included on the list were Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr., Rutgers wide receiver Leonte Carroo, Wisconsin running back Corey Clement, Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook, Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Penn State wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton and Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately


Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

Tough news out of Evanston this morning: Northwestern announced that running back Jeremy Larkin will retire immediately after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.

Cervical stenois is the narrowing of the spinal canal in one's neck, according to Mayo Clinic. Larkin's condition is thankfully not life-threatening, though it does prevent him from continuing to participate in the game of football. 

"Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won't be on that field again, given I've played this game since I was five years old," Larkin said.

"I'm extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.

"I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline." 

Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald called the news "heartbreaking."

"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him.

"The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can't wait to see the impact he makes in our world."

Larkin is a sophomore from Cincinnati. He finishes his Northwestern career with 156 carries for 849 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.