Northwestern's Arby Fields to transfer

Northwestern sophomore Arby Fields, who opened the season as the team's starting running back before falling off the depth chart, has decided to leave the program.

The team announced Thursday morning that Fields will seek a transfer.

"We're disappointed that Arby has made the decision to leave Northwestern," coach Pat Fitzgerald said in a statement. "He is an outstanding young man and we wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors."

Fields' departure comes as no surprise as he had a disappointing season relative to the expectations. After leading Northwestern with 302 rush yards as a freshman in 2009, Fields turned in a strong performance this spring and entered the fall with high hopes.

But he struggled to find running room and endured a string of fumbles that cost him his starting job before Big Ten play began. Fields, who started seven games in his career, was used sparingly down the stretch as Northwestern turned to Mike Trumpy and Adonis Smith as its primary ball carriers.

The bigger loss could be for Northwestern's baseball team, as Fields started in center field and hit .292 last season.

I was really impressed with the way Fields handled playing both sports this spring, but he likely wouldn't have been part of Northwestern's future plans at running back. It will be interesting to see where the California native lands.