CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Illinois defensive lineman Bobby Roundtree made his first appearance on Saturday in Champaign since his spinal injury.
Roundtree surprised the team in the locker room before the game with a pregame speech. The Florida native is recovering from a severe spinal injury he suffered in May while back in Florida. His players and coaches were shocked to see him at the stadium.
“It’s indescribable. A lot of emotions was also in the mix as well just a couple of guys seeing him for the first time and whatnot,” Dele Harding said. “We dedicated the season to him so seeing him in person is definitely emotional on my behalf.”
“There are so many emotional times I’ve had a chance, we’ve gone through, that’s one of them. Of course the goal for Bobby is to walk again, and we see the progress that he’s making, part of the progress is to be able to get back here on campus,” Lovie Smith said. “This is the first time he’s been back on campus, so an awful lot went into that.”
Lovie added that it’s too early to tell if Roundtree will be able to accompany his teammate on their bowl trip.