Big Ten

No surprise: J.T. Barrett won't suit up for Buckeyes' spring game

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No surprise: J.T. Barrett won't suit up for Buckeyes' spring game

Not that it's any kind of unexpected outcome, but Urban Meyer did confirm Monday that J.T. Barrett won't play in Ohio State's spring game Saturday.

Barrett was the 2014 Big Ten Quarterback of the Year after a sensational campaign as a redshirt freshman filling in for the injured Braxton Miller. Having not thrown a college pass prior to last season, he blossomed into one of the nation's best quarterbacks and set a slew of Big Ten and Ohio State records, finishing fifth in Heisman Trophy voting.

But Barrett had his own season-ending injury, knocked out of the Buckeyes' regular-season finale against Michigan with an injured ankle that prevented him from playing in the postseason.

[MORE BIG TEN: Instagram violation won't affect Braxton Miller's eligibility]

Cardale Jones famously filled in for Barrett in three postseason wins against Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon en route to a national championship.

The attention of everyone in the college football world and then some is on Columbus this offseason, where Barrett, Miller and Jones will compete for the Buckeyes' starting quarterback job.

Neither Barrett nor Miller will play in the spring game as they both continue to recover from their respective injuries. Jones, uninjured, will compete in the spring game. Whether that ends up giving him a leg up in Meyer's eyes remains to be seen, though likely there's little in the way of a decision to be made until Barrett and Miller are closer to full strength.

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.