Illinois football star who was paralyzed in tragic swimming accident two years ...

Illinois football star who was paralyzed in tragic swimming accident two years ...
Illinois football star who was paralyzed in tragic swimming accident two years ...

Bobby Roundtree, 23, passed away from unknown causes in his native Tampa area

Bobby Roundtree, 23, passed away from unknown causes in his native Tampa area

A former University of Illinois football star died on Friday, just two years after becoming paralyzed in a tragic swimming accident where he jumped into shallow water, the team announced in an emotional tweet and statement. 

'Stay humble and keep ELEVATING' Roundtree tweeted for the last time on Thursday, a day before his passing. 

Meanwhile, members of the Illinois Athletics community came out to honor Roundtree after the news of his death emerged on Friday.

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'There are no words to adequately express the sadness in my heart,' Director of Athletics Josh Whitman tweeted upon hearing of Roundtree's untimely death.

Roundtree played all 24 games during his freshman and sophomore seasons, notching 11.5 sacks and 116 total tackles in those two years

Roundtree played all 24 games during his freshman and sophomore seasons, notching 11.5 sacks and 116 total tackles in those two years

He was severely injured back on May 18, 2019 after jumping into water near John's Pass in Madeira Beach, Florida

He was severely injured back on May 18, 2019 after jumping into water near John's Pass in Madeira Beach, Florida

The college football ace also tied the team lead in sacks for the 2017 season before being awarded the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year award

The college football ace also tied the team lead in sacks for the 2017 season before being awarded the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year award

'Broken heart In the face of unspeakable adversity and hardship, Bobby brought life and optimism to every room he entered. He was a warrior, a leader, and an inspiration to all. I will never forget him. Love you, 97.'

In an official statement he made through the university, Whitman described the young football star as a leader with a competitive drive that set him apart from other players on the field. 

'All of us with Illinois Athletics are shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Bobby Roundtree,' Whitman said in a statement.

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