Illinois football standout Bobby Roundtree suffers severe spinal injury in swimming accident, school says

University of Illinois defensive end Bobby Roundtree suffered a severe spinal injury during a swimming accident Saturday in Florida, the school announced.

Roundtree underwent surgery Sunday and was recovering at a hospital in Safety Harbor, according to the school. There were no other details released about the incident.

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“Bobby Roundtree is exactly what you want in a student-athlete," Illinois coach Lovie Smith said. “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.”

Tributes poured in for Roundtree as the news of his accident started to spread.

Roundtree is entering his junior year. He played in 24 games during his first two seasons.

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Last season, Roundtree finished fifth in the Big Ten Conference with 8.5 sacks. He also had 67 total tackles.