Big Ten

Penn State tight end Adam Breneman opts to end injury-filled college career

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Penn State tight end Adam Breneman opts to end injury-filled college career

Penn State made a big recruiting splash in the Class of 2013 with four-star tight end Adam Breneman.

But after the last couple years have been filled with injuries, the Pennsylvania native has opted to conclude his collegiate career, the Nittany Lions announced Thursday.

Breneman had a strong season as a true freshman in 2013, catching 15 passes, including three for touchdowns, while playing in 11 of the team's 12 games. But a knee injury kept Breneman sidelined for the entirety of the 2014 campaign, and he appeared in just two games this past season while battling serious knee issues.

"I want to thank coach (Bill) O'Brien, coach (James) Franklin, my teammates and the Penn State fans for the great memories over the last three years," Breneman said in the announcement. "I have truly treasured my time as a Nittany Lion, and I am confident that the Penn State experience has prepared me for the next phase of my life."

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Breneman completed his degree in three years and graduated last month.

"I know that it was a difficult for Adam to step away from the game, but he felt it was the right time," Franklin said. "We are so proud of his work in the classroom, having earned his degree in three years. Adam is a special young man that has left his imprint on not only the Penn State football program but the Penn State community at large. He has been a difference maker at a very young age and has a bright future ahead of him."

Breneman was a four-star recruit out of high school, the No. 3 tight end in the Class of 2013 and the No. 4 player in the state of Pennsylvania.

Penn State fans will surely remember Breneman for his 68-yard touchdown catch against Wisconsin during the 2013 season. It's the longest touchdown catch by a tight end in program history.

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.