Big Ten

Former top recruit Jeff Jones leaving Gophers for junior college

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Former top recruit Jeff Jones leaving Gophers for junior college

One of Minnesota’s biggest-ever recruits is leaving the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

According to a report from the Star Tribune’s Joe Christensen, Jeff Jones, a former four-star recruit from Minneapolis, will transfer from Minnesota to Iowa Western Community College.

Jones was a huge get for the Gophers in the Class of 2014. Minnesota’s high school player of the year, Jones opted to stay home and star for the Gophers, picking them over the likes of Florida and Michigan.

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But per Christensen, Jones has dealt with numerous challenges during his brief time at Minnesota. He failed to qualify academically in his first semester, unable to play his freshman season. He participated in spring practice but saw very brief on-field action this season while dealing with migraines and unable to catch on at any one position. Jones was a four-star running back out of high school, but Gophers coaches switched him to wide receiver and then to defensive back in not even two full years on campus.

Jones recorded no statistics this season, appearing in only three games.

Minnesota head coach Tracy Claeys told Christensen that Jones would be welcomed back, and he will have two more seasons of eligibility once he completes a two-year degree.

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.