Big Ten

Urban Meyer: All indications are that Braxton Miller is staying with Buckeyes


Urban Meyer: All indications are that Braxton Miller is staying with Buckeyes

As the rumors that Braxton Miller might transfer away from Ohio State continue to pop up from time to time, Urban Meyer remains confident that Miller will be in a Buckeyes uniform come the fall.

Amid one of the most talked about quarterback competitions in recent college football memory, Meyer told Dan Patrick on Tuesday morning that all signs point to his senior quarterback staying in Columbus.

"That surfaced in January," Meyer said. "And I asked him, and he said, 'Absolutely not.' Obviously young people, or anyone is allowed to change their mind. I have not heard that. I did not ask him, one of our strength coaches did, so I don't know where that's coming from. I would say Braxton is staying, all indications that I'm getting. And all I can go by is — I don't go by here say, I talk to the people involved, and he seems to be extremely happy and excited for 2015 as a Buckeye."

The latest rumor stems from a report on the popular SEC-oriented "Paul Finebaum Show," where the host said there is a chance that Miller could end up at Alabama. If Miller completes his degree this spring, he could theoretically become a graduate transfer, which is fueling the speculation that he could depart Ohio State.

[MORE BIG TEN: Buckeyes at the White House: President Obama talks Playoff, shrugs like Joey Bosa]

Of course, what's mostly driving those rumors is the three-way QB competition in Columbus, a battle between Miller, the two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, J.T. Barrett, a top-five Heisman finisher a year ago, and Cardale Jones, who led the Buckeyes to three postseason wins en route to the national championship.

Patrick tried to get Meyer to reveal something about who's leading the race, asking him who his starter would be if the season started today.

Meyer didn't take the bait.

"We can't name one today," Meyer said. "Cardale went through spring practice. Braxton, we're getting him healthy. J.T., we're getting him healthy, and J.T. did a lot of work, as well. So we have three viable guys."

[SHOP BUCKEYES: Get your Ohio State national championship gear right here]

Some think that Meyer could utilize all three guys, unleashing a multi-headed quarterbacking monster on Big Ten defenses. Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen, but there's no doubting that each guy would give the Buckeyes a great chance to win.

"I don't know, that's going to be 'to be determined,'" Meyer said. "J.T.'s got three years left, Cardale's got two years left and Braxton's got one. They've all done something to take Ohio State to the level we're at. Braxton was kind of the focal point of our offense because we didn't have the skill set around him the 12-0 year and the 12-2 year, and he was phenomenal, Big Ten Player of the Year. And then J.T. had the luxury of playing with some great players and so did Cardale. We have a good group around them coming back, which is key, especially four out of five offensive linemen coming back, too."

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.