Northwestern suspends reserve RB Daniel

Northwestern has suspended sophomore running back Alex Daniel until Sept. 5 for an unspecified violation of team rules.

Daniel, who came on strong last spring before suffering an ankle injury that kept him out the entire 2009 season, won't be able to participate in team activities until the end of his suspension. The length is important because Daniel had been expected to compete for a starting job at running back, which no one truly nailed down last fall.

Now he'll only be eligible to rejoin the team a day after the season opener at Vanderbilt (Sept. 4). The 6-foot, 195-pound Daniel, a native of Roswell, Ga., doesn't appear on Northwestern's spring roster.

The running back competition this spring features Arby Fields, Scott Concannon, Stephen Simmons and Mike Trumpy. Incoming recruit Adonis Smith will enter the mix this summer.

Simmons started the 2009 season at running back and showed some good signs before battling injuries. Fields and Concannon also had their moments, but the run game was a major weakness for the Wildcats and must get rectified soon. Daniel's situation certainly doesn't help matters.