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Wisconsin safety Patrick Johnson leaves program

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The Badgers’ secondary depth takes a hit.

Wisconsin safety Patrick Johnson (2) performs drills during a spring practice.
Wisconsin safety Patrick Johnson (2) performs drills during a spring practice.
Jake Kocorowski

Wisconsin Badgers safety Patrick Johnson has left the team.

The move was first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Jeff Potrykus on Wednesday. A UW official confirmed to B5Q that Johnson is no longer with the Badgers.

Wisconsin did not list Johnson on Monday’s preliminary injury report, but he also was not on the team’s Week 2 depth chart released. For last week’s season opener vs. Western Kentucky, the Badgers designated Johnson as out with a head injury.

As Potrykus reports, Johnson’s departure is due to “personal issues” and not disciplinary.

The loss of Johnson strikes at the depth of the Wisconsin safety position. During fall camp last month, defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard mentioned Johnson was having “a very good camp” and that Johnson, D’Cota Dixon, and Scott Nelson had separated themselves from the others in that position group.

Behind Dixon and Nelson, Wisconsin listed its second-team safeties as sophomore Eric Burrell (free safety) and true freshman Reggie Pearson (strong safety). Pearson missed last week’s game and is listed as questionable for Saturday’s game against New Mexico with a left leg injury.

Burrell tallied one tackle and a forced fumble that resulted in Wisconsin’s second turnover of the game vs. WKU.