Big Ten

Corey Clement coming back to Badgers for senior season

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Corey Clement coming back to Badgers for senior season

2015 didn't go too well for Corey Clement, so the Wisconsin running back is going to give what was supposed to be his breakout season another go in 2016.

Clement will be coming back to the Badgers for his senior season, Wisconsin running back coach John Settle told reporters on Tuesday.

After two seasons putting up strong numbers in a limited role behind Melvin Gordon, Clement was expected to have a monster year this season. As a freshman in 2013, he rushed for 547 yards and seven touchdowns on only 67 carries as a third-string back behind Gordon and James White. In 2014, as a backup to Gordon during his Heisman-finalist season, Clement gained 949 yards and scored nine touchdowns on 147 carries.

This season, though, Clement was hampered by injury, carrying the ball just eight times in the season-opening loss to Alabama before sitting out a couple games and finally opting to have surgery to repair a sports hernia. All in all, he missed seven straight games before returning in a big way against Rutgers, rushing 11 times for 115 yards and three touchdowns on Halloween. But still not at 100 percent, Clement sat out the next game, returned to gain just 24 yards and a score a touchdown on 10 carries against Northwestern, then sat out the regular-season finale.

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Amid all the uncertainty with his health, Clement was also involved in a physical altercation at his off-campus residence. At first, Wisconsin stated that Clement intervened with an altercation between a group of people and a security guard and was assaulted, receiving a cut to his hand. But several weeks later, police cited Clement with two counts of disorderly conduct, an investigation revealing that Clement actually started the altercation and used derogatory language toward a female member of the group involved in the altercation.

Clement finished the regular season with a total of 29 carries for 155 yards and four touchdowns. Wisconsin has one game remaining, a matchup with USC in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30.

Obviously, Clement's return as a senior will be a big boost for the Badgers, and Clement hopes is a big boost for his NFL Draft stock, too. A full season of better health will undoubtedly make a better impression on pro evaluators than his sporadic on-field action this season.

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

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USA TODAY

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

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USA TODAY

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.