Illinois has issued an update on defensive lineman Bobby Roundtree, who suffered a severe spinal injury this weekend during a swimming incident in Tampa, Florida.
Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune reported that Roundtree was responding positively after his spinal surgery on Sunday and was sitting up and eating solid food as of Monday afternoon, according to an Illinois spokesperson. The reports have considered Roundtree’s injury to be “very serious.”
Lovie Smith is still in Florida with Roundtree and the family.
Roundtree suffered from the accident in the Tampa area while swimming. He underwent surgery on Sunday. There has been no update on the exact extent of the injury or what caused it.
“Bobby Roundtree is exactly what you want in a student-athlete,” Smith said, according to Jeremy Werner of Illini Inquirer. “He is a hard worker, dependable, a dedicated student and a leader.
“This is devastating to his teammates, the entire Fighting Illini family and his family and friends. We will give Bobby all the support possible as he battles through his recovery. Please keep Bobby and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Roundtree was considered to be the best defensive linemen at Illinois and arguably one of the best players on the roster. He finished the 2018 season with 66 tackles, 12.5 for loss and 7.5 sacks.