Senior Spotlight: Wisconsin Football’s Michael Caputo


Badger of Honor continues its profiles of each member of the Wisconsin Football senior class with Michael Caputo, the unquestioned leader of the defense.

READ ALSO: Senior Spotlight: Joel Stave

After redshirting in 2011 and coming off the bench in 2012, Caputo became a starter at safety in his sophomore year. He quickly showed off his abilities in the run game, finishing second on the team with 63 tackles.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

In his junior season, Caputo took a huge leap and lead the team with 106 total tackles. He primarily excelled in the run game, looking like a linebacker at times. He was also skilled in coverage, recording 6 pass deflections and 1 interception. For his outstanding play, he was named to the Second Team All-Big 10.

This year, a lot of hype surrounds the 3rd year starter. With athletic specimen Tanner McEvoy at the other safety spot and a pair of experienced cornerbacks in Sojourn Shelton and Darius Hillary, Caputo should be able to play even more like a linebacker. Combine that with Caputo’s great nose for the football and his consistent tackling and I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if he were to surpass 120 total tackles.

Not only will Caputo be relied upon for his tackling, but his leadership will also play a pivotal role. He was already named a team captain, and is the unquestioned leader of the defense. Not only is he going to have to lead with his words, he is going to need to lead by example. To put it simply, if Caputo has a bad game, this Badger defense will struggle. He is the anchor that keeps the whole boat from sinking.

One of Caputo’s biggest attributes is that he steps up in big games. He certainly isn’t intimidated by the SEC. He had a career-high 15 tackles against LSU. He also had 7 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 key pass deflections in Wisconsin’s Outback Bowl win against Auburn. So Derrick Henry and Alabama better watch out.

Michael Caputo divers for the legs of Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown. Jim Oxley photograph

Wisconsin fans aren’t the only ones excited for Caputo’s senior season. He was named to many preseason award watch lists, including the Jim Thorpe award watch list, given to the nation’s top defensive back. He was also named to the Bednarik award and the Nagurski award watch lists, given to the nation’s top defensive player. To cap it off, Caputo was named to the Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list, which measures defensive play, leadership, and character.

There are a lot of question marks on this Wisconsin Football team, but Caputo is certainly not one of them. We know exactly what we are going to get from him. He will be a hard-nosed safety that will make plays at the line of scrimmage and in the secondary. He will continue to be the biggest fear for other team’s running backs, letting them know why he is considered one of the most physical players in college football. He will help the new players grow into their roles with his great leadership. And he will continue to be one of the best, most consistent safeties in the Big 10.

Next: Tanner McEvoy Senior Spotlight

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