Big Ten

Hoosiers' Jordan Howard declares for NFL Draft

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Hoosiers' Jordan Howard declares for NFL Draft

For the second straight season, Indiana is losing an All-Big Ten rusher early to the NFL Draft.

Hoosiers running back Jordan Howard announced Monday that he will forego his junior season and enter his name in the draft, following the same path as Tevin Coleman, who did the same last winter.

Howard earned All-Big Ten honors this season, his first at Indiana after transferring in from the dissolved UAB program last offseason. Howard rushed for 1,213 yards this season, the third-most in the conference and a total that ranks 31st in the country, despite the banged-up Howard playing in just nine games.

He rushed for more than 100 yards in six games this season, surpassing the 200-yard mark twice in a win over Western Kentucky and a loss to Michigan. He had three multi-touchdown games.

Howard was bothered by injuries all season and missed four games, including the final two of the season: the rivalry win over Purdue and the bowl loss to Duke.

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Howard included this lengthy statement in Indiana's announcement Monday:

"After much thought and prayer, I have decided to forego my final year of eligibility to pursue my lifelong dream of playing in the NFL.

"My success to date would not have been possible without God and the support of family and countless people. I'd like to thank my parents, Dr. Reginald Howard (deceased) and Flora Williams for their unyielding and unwavering support over the years.

"My sincerest thanks to all of my coaches and teammates at Indiana University and the University of Alabama-Birmingham. I would like to personally thank former UAB coach Garrick McGee for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to play at the collegiate level. Coach Kevin Wilson, thank you for allowing me to be a part of a great football family. Coach Deland McCullough, thank you for coaching and pushing me to realize my true potential. Coach Mark Hill, thank you for inspiring me to work harder at strength and conditioning.

"To my IU family, I could have never imagined receiving the love and support that you all have shown me since my arrival on campus. A special thanks to the training staff, Christa Sist and IU academics.

"Today, because of the prayers, love and support of so many people, I'm one step closer to making my NFL dream a reality! God bless and Go Hoosiers!"

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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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.