Wisconsin Badgers: 5 Most Impactful Seniors

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Jan 1, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Wisconsin Badgers safety Michael Caputo (7) celebrate a missed Auburn field goal in overtime of the 2015 Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. The Badgers defeated the Tigers 34-31 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Caputo

Wisconsin’s fifth-year senior strong safety Michael Caputo . A starter in 37 games of his last 38 games of his Badgers’ career, Caputo has been a solid player on the back line on Wisconsin’s defense for four years.

A redshirt in 2011, Caputo played in 13 games with one start as a redshirt freshman before breaking out in his sophomore season. Caputo started in 12 of 13 games in 2013 and finished second on the team with 63 total tackles with three tackles for loss. He also broke up three passes and had three quarterback hits. Caputo’s performance earned him an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection.

Caputo had an even better season as a starter in all 14 games as a junior. He finished with a team-leading 106 total tackles in 2014, including six tackles for loss and a sack. Caputo also added six pass breakups and a pair of quarterback hits. He forced a few turnovers with an interception, four fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. These stats led to more postseason awards, including Second Team All-America and a consensus All-Big Ten selection.

In his senior season, Caputo was named a team captain and has started all 10 games so far. He missed the majority of the season opener against Alabama with a head injury when he lined up in the Crimson Tide’s offensive backfield, and his presence was missed.

Wisconsin struggled without its defensive leader as Alabama finished with 502 total yards of offense. The Tide attacked the middle of the Badgers’ defense through the air and scored two long runs right up the middle where Caputo likely would have been.

Caputo is currently third on the team in total tackles with five tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks. He has also picked off two passes with a fumble recovery, a forced fumble and four pass breakups. Caputo has been the heart of Wisconsin’s veteran secondary, and his tackling ability is among the best in the conference.

Next: Most Impactful Seniors: Alex Erickson