Big Ten

Rich get richer as Buckeyes land another elite quarterback recruit


Rich get richer as Buckeyes land another elite quarterback recruit

Urban Meyer seems to firmly believe that it’s impossible to have too much of a good thing.

Ohio State hauled in its latest top-flight quarterback recruit on Friday, earning the commitment of Class of 2018 four-star signal-caller Emory Jones, who’s ranked as one of Rivals’ top-100 recruits in the class.

Jones’ commitment is a big deal and a big get, but this is hardly anything new for the Buckeyes, who have landed one highly ranked quarterbacking prospect after another in recent years, meaning Meyer has an overflowing stockpile of quarterbacks on his hands.

Jones in the Class of 2018 joins a pair of fellow future Buckeye quarterbacks in Tate Martell and Danny Clark. Martell is the top-ranked quarterback in the Class of 2017, and Clark isn’t too far behind. Dwayne Haskins Jr., a five-star commit, comes to Columbus this fall. Last year’s recruiting class featured Torrance Gibson (also a five-star recruit now labeled a quarterback/wide receiver on Ohio State's roster) and Joe Burrow. The year prior brought Stephen Collier, who if not for an offseason ACL tear would be J.T. Barrett’s backup this season.

And don’t forget that Barrett is still just a redshirt junior, allowing him to return for his senior season in 2017.

All in all, it means Meyer is going to have quite the quandary on his hands involving the quarterback situation a few years down the road.

Sound familiar? Meyer didn’t have the best go of things attempting to juggle Barrett and Cardale Jones last season and only avoided a three-way headache when Braxton Miller moved to wide receiver.

Logically, it wouldn’t seem that all of the aforementioned guys would stick with Ohio State, likely opting for a chance at a starting job elsewhere rather than serve as backups for their entire — or even just the majority of their college careers.

But it’s true also that the Buckeyes have relied heavily on backup quarterbacks over the last three seasons. Prior to last season’s indecision at the position, Barrett took over for an injured Miller, and Cardale Jones succeeded Barrett when the latter suffered a season-ending injury in the regular-season finale, leading the Buckeyes to a national championship. And in 2013 — when Miller was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year — backup Kenny Guiton still managed to pitch 14 touchdown passes in limited time.

Regardless of any future headaches, though, this squarely falls into the "good problem to have" category.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately


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


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.