Scary news came out of Champaign on Monday morning, as Illini Inquirer reported that Illinois defensive lineman Bobby Roundtree suffered a serious spinal injury during a swimming incident in Tampa, Florida on Saturday.
Roundtree reportedly had surgery on Sunday and the situation is very serious. Head coach Lovie Smith and defensive line coach Austin Clark traveled to Florida to be with Roundtree and his family after learning of the situation.
Monday morning, Smith issued a statement on Roundtree’s injury and status.
“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 the best defensive lineman for the Illini and one of the top players on the roster. Further details on his status were not known immediately.