Big Ten

Tyvis Powell, Darron Lee latest Buckeyes to jump to NFL

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Tyvis Powell, Darron Lee latest Buckeyes to jump to NFL

The exodus continues in Columbus.

Ohio State safety Tyvis Powell and linebacker Darron Lee both took to Twitter this weekend to declare their intentions to turn pro.

Powell tweeted this message Sunday morning:

Lee posted this a day earlier:

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Buckeyes gear right here]

Both players were part of an astounding Ohio State defense that ranked third in the country in scoring defense, allowing an average of 15.1 points per game, and 10th in the country in total defense, allowing an average of 311.3 total yards per game. They both started on last year's national championship team.

Powell departs following his third season of action as a redshirt junior. This year, he was third on the team with 71 total tackles. He picked off a trio of passes — including one in the Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame on Friday — and blocked a kick. All in all, he finishes his career with 195 total tackles and eight interceptions.

Lee was one of the Big Ten's best linebackers this season as a redshirt sophomore. He earned All-Big Ten honors after finishing with 66 total tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. He had a huge performance in the Fiesta Bowl, tallying seven tackles, two tackles for loss and two sacks. That after an astounding postseason performance last season against Alabama, when he had seven tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks en route to earning defensive MVP honors in the Sugar Bowl. In just two seasons of action, Lee recorded a total of 147 tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss, 12 sacks and three interceptions.

Powell and Lee join the already announced trio of Ezekiel Elliott, Cardale Jones and Joey Bosa to make it five Buckeyes who have opted to forego at least one season of eligibility to move on to the professional ranks.

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.