Big Ten

Hoosiers' Darius Latham announces he's going to NFL Draft

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Hoosiers' Darius Latham announces he's going to NFL Draft

Just a couple days after Indiana running back Jordan Howard announced he'd forego his senior season to enter the NFL Draft, Indiana defensive lineman Darius Latham did the same thing.

Latham announced Wednesday that he will also be foregoing his senior year to pursue a career in the NFL.

Latham was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection this season after recording 33 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and four sacks. He also blocked a pair of kicks this season and grabbed an interception in Indiana's Pinstripe Bowl loss to Duke last weekend.

In 35 career games, Latham tallied 81 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and one interception.

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"Playing in the NFL has been a dream of mine, and I will put in the work and effort to make this dream come true.

"Thank you to my parents and my family for their assistance during this process. Your prayers and support mean everything to me. You will always serve as my motivation, and without you I would not be in the position I am in right now.

"I am especially thankful for the opportunity to have played and learned from coach (Kevin) Wilson. He and the coaching staff not only made me a better player but were focused on me as a complete person. I would also like to thank (strength and conditioning coach Mark) Hill and the strength and conditioning team for helping me to get stronger and faster and Christa Sist in academics for keeping me focused and on top of my work.

"I chose IU over other colleges because it was home, and I believed in what we could build here. We accomplished some good things, and I will miss playing with my family, especially my D-line brothers. Indiana University is a special place, and I am grateful to be a Hoosier for life. Go IU!"

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.