Michigan dismisses CB Nate Johnson; Rutgers healing | Big Ten Notes

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Michigan Wolverines cornerback Nate Johnson was taken to jail after being arrested outside a residence hall on campus and later released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.

A Michigan official confirmed Wednesday that Nate Johnson, who was arraigned on Sunday on one count of domestic violence, was dismissed from the team Tuesday.

After Johnson was arrested on Sept. 30, the program released a brief statement that he has “been suspended indefinitely from all team activities,” according to the Detroit News.

Johnson was taken to jail after being arrested outside a residence hall on campus and later released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. He is set for pretrial on Oct. 11 in 15th District Court.

Johnson started with the team as a wide receiver in 2016 and was moved to cornerback before this season.

Rutgers recovering during bye week

Considering Rutgers has been hit with injuries, its bye week comes at a perfect time.

It means a full week to get healthy before its Oct. 14 matchup against Illinois. Plus, coach Chris Ash isn’t too happy with his team’s 1-4 record, and rest could be the first step to improve it.

Last week, players were dropping left and right in Ohio State’s 56-0 demolition of Rutgers. Safeties Kiy Hester and Saquan Hampton and offensive lineman Jonah Jackson left the game with injuries.

Jackson, who suffered an undisclosed injury, had surgery on Monday and will be out for at least a month, Ash said. However, the surgery went “great,” and he was back in class as of Tuesday.

Ash said Hester will be 100 percent ready to play after taking time to recover this week, while Hampton’s injury status is unknown.

“This week is an opportunity for us as a staff to take a deep breath and evaluate all the positions and see where we’re at,” Ash said.

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald likes Wisconsin

Coach Pat Fitzgerald isn’t holding back his opinion on the best Big Ten football coach.

After playing No. 9 Wisconsin last week, in a 33-24 loss, Fitzgerald called Badgers coach Paul Chryst “outstanding.”

“How he’s not voted coach of the year in our league over the last few years is mind-boggling to me,” Fitzgerald said.

Last season, the title was given to both Chryst and Penn State’s James Franklin in a tie. Fitzgerald said his intentions aren’t to diminish Penn State’s success or a team like Ohio State’s success. His respect for Chryst is just on another level.

“If I get to vote today,” Fitzgerald said, “I’m voting for Paul and his staff.”

No. 4 Penn State heads to Northwestern undefeated

Even though undefeated Penn State will travel to Ryan Field to play a Northwestern team that’s 2-2, the Nittany Lions have had bad luck against the Wildcats in their last two matchups, which resulted in losses.

The last meeting was in 2015 at Northwestern, in which the Wildcats defeated the Nittany Lions by a field goal.

But this time, the Wildcats will have to contain Saquon Barkley, who leads all active FBS players in career all-purpose yards.

Franklin said he respects Northwestern’s coaching staff and the team’s consistency as well as its ability to play hard and smart.

“This is the type of team that’s going to be able to go week in and week out and be able to battle against anybody,” Franklin said.

Ohio State’s Weber and Dobbins are like one

With star running backs in sophomore Mike Weber and freshman J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer can’t choose just one to start.

“When you put your best 11 up on the board, those two names surface,” Urban said, “so our obligation is to play the best players.”

He has no problem giving the two running backs equal playing time against Maryland on Saturday.

After all, neither got enough repetitions or carries against Rutgers last week in Urban’s eyes.

“Our goal is to be the best [backs] in the country,” Weber said, according to the Columbus Dispatch. “Coach Meyer has been working hard at getting us together, trying to get sets where we’re both on the field at the same time. It should be real nice.”

“I feel like it’d be something scary. We both are pretty similar but different at the same time. I feel like the defense is not going to be able to handle that if we do it the right way.”