Big Ten

Spartans add transfer D-lineman from Huskers

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Spartans add transfer D-lineman from Huskers

A few days after losing a defensive lineman for the latest time this offseason, Michigan State finally added a defensive lineman on Monday.

The team announced the addition of defensive tackle Kevin Williams, a graduate transfer from Big Ten-rival Nebraska who is immediately eligible to play.

"It was a little bit of everything on why I wanted to come to Michigan State," Williams said in the team's announcement. "I had a previous relationship with the coaching staff during the recruiting process in high school. I also got a good idea of how the program was run by being in the same conference. I knew that even after coming to Nebraska, Michigan State would have been a good route to go as well out of high school. I’m excited to be a part of a championship-level program."

The Spartans can certainly use the help on the defensive line, which needs to replace three starters in Shilique Calhoun, Joel Heath and Lawrence Thomas. Last week, Dantonio announced the departure of Damon Knox, who was projected to start at defensive tackle. Earlier this offseason, defensive linemen Montez Sweat and Craig Evans left the program following several disciplinary issues in past years.

Williams spent five years at Nebraska, but he didn't play during the 2011 and 2013 seasons due to knee injuries, the reason he still has eligibility remaining. In 23 career games with the Huskers, Williams made four starts and accumulated 27 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and three sacks.

"We’re excited about the addition of Kevin to our football team," Dantonio said in the announcement. "We had a chance to get to know him during the recruiting process. He has the talent and experience to immediately contribute to our defense this season."

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.