The college football world received heartbreaking news this Friday afternoon. Former Illinois football defensive lineman Bobby Roundtree has passed away at the young age of 23.
Illinois confirmed the passing of Roundtree on social media, as the program released a statement on this tragic loss.
“The Illini Family has lost one of its inspirational leaders with the passing of Bobby Roundtree Friday in the Tampa Bay area,” Illinois football wrote on Twitter. “RIP, Bobby Roundtree. We will miss you.”
Roundtree was such an impactful player for the Fighting Illini, registering 117 total tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks and 10 pass breakups in two seasons. Unfortunately, he suffered a spinal injury in 2019 and needed to undergo rehabilitation treatment in Tampa for multiple years.
The Illini Family has lost one of its inspirational leaders with the passing of Bobby Roundtree Friday in the Tampa Bay area.
— Illinois Football (@IlliniFootball) July 16, 2021
Josh Whitman, the athletic director for Illinois, shared his thoughts on this devastating news.
“All of us with Illinois Athletics are shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Bobby Roundtree,” Whitman said. “From his first day on campus, Bobby was a leader. His work ethic, competitive fire, and drive for excellence set him apart. Following his tragic accident, those same qualities allowed him to tackle his new challenges with the same vigor and determination that we had seen on the football field. In so doing, he continued to bring light and inspiration to the lives of those around him — and, in fact, to so many people who had never had the pleasure of meeting him.”
Our thoughts are with Roundtree’s family and friends at this time.