Adonis Smith leaving Northwestern

Sophomore running back Adonis Smith is leaving Northwestern, Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald announced on Wednesday.

Smith was fourth on the team in rushing last season with 266 yards. He had 464 rushing yards, nine receptions for 29 yards and three touchdowns in two seasons.

Smith was expected to compete for the starting position next season.

"We're disappointed to see Adonis leave Northwestern," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "He is an outstanding young man and we wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors."

Smith is the second running back to transfer in as many years for Northwestern. Arby Fields, who once started for the Wildcats, transferred during his sophomore year in December 2010.

Northwestern, which is coming off a 6-7 season, begins spring practice March 3.

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.