Big Ten

Six Big Ten products selected in first round of NFL Draft

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Six Big Ten products selected in first round of NFL Draft

Six Big Ten products were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night.

Dominated by a near-record amount of Ohio State Buckeyes, six Big Ten players heard their name called during the first 20 selections in Thursday's first round.

Five Buckeyes were selected, coming one shy of matching an NFL Draft record for players from one school picked in the first round.

Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa was the first Big Ten player off the board, chosen by the San Diego Chargers with the third pick.

Bosa's selection was followed immediately by that of Ohio State teammate Ezekiel Elliott, the Dallas Cowboys using the No. 4 pick on the star running back.

Michigan State offensive lineman Jack Conklin went at No. 8 to the Tennessee Titans, the highest-drafted Spartan since 2003, when wide receiver Charles Rogers went at No. 2.

Cornerback Eli Apple was the third Buckeye selected in the top 10 when he went to the New York Giants at No. 10.

Ohio State offensive lineman Taylor Decker went six picks later, joining the Detroit Lions with the No. 16 selection.

And Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee rounded out the conference's first-round selections, getting picked at No. 20 by the New York Jets.

Several highly rated Buckeyes remained on the board and could hear their names early on Day 2. Meanwhile, the Big Ten continued to go without a first-round quarterback since 1995. Michigan State's Connor Cook is the highest-rated Big Ten quarterback in this year's draft.

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.