SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (WCIA) — Illinois seniors Kenyon Jackson, Dele Harding and Tymir Oliver didn’t have to think twice when making Christmas plans. The Illini were leaving the next day to go to the Redbox Bowl, making it difficult to go home for the holidays. So they did the next best thing, visiting teammate Bobby Roundtree in Chicago. The defensive end is still recovering from a serious spine injury during a swimming accident in May.
“We’ve been with him step-by-step, I mean it feels like our fight just as much as his fight,” Illinois senior defensive tackle Kenyon Jackson said. “We want him to know that we’re there for him and I just feel like Christmas Day, us being there for him, it was something that was very meaningful for him but he didn’t know how much it touched us.”
“It was just a blessing being there, especially on Christmas Day,” Illinois linebacker Dele Harding said. “Not everybody could make it out there so it was just good being in his atmosphere, he’s making great progress as you can see in his videos.”
The goal is for Roundtree to return to campus next semester as a full-time student. The Florida native was back at Memorial Stadium for the Northwestern game, the first time he returned to Champaign-Urbana since the accident.