It’s no easy task when a program loses their leading tackler and heart and soul of the team from a year ago like the Wisconsin Badgers did with Chris Borland. But Borland and his 111 tackles are off to bigger things with the San Francisco 49ers, meaning someone will have to step up to replace that kind of production and leadership. The Badgers will look no further than safety Michael Caputo to play a big role in this upcoming season.
With Dezmen Southward also gone and Tanner McEvoy competing for the starting quarterback job, Caputo will by far be the veteran in an otherwise inexperienced defensive backfield. Add in sophomore Sojourn Shelton-who had a phenomenal freshman season-as another player who will provide experience in the secondary.
There’s a reason why Brian Bennett of ESPN.com named Caputo one of the most indispensable players on this Badgers squad.
The redshirt junior from Pennsylvania saw plenty of action a year ago, starting 12 of 13 games and improving as each week went on. Caputo recorded 63 tackles (second on the team behind Borland) last season, including a career-high 12 against the BYU Cougars.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this defense lost some great players from a year ago and will be looking for new leaders to step up to the plate. Michael Caputo will be one of those guys that head coach Gary Andersen can count on to make a huge impact this season. He’s a valuable player in the secondary and will be a leader for this inexperienced defense.