(Over the next few days weâ€™ll be taking a look at each position on the Badgers roster and breaking down what took place during the 2015 spring camp)
If there was one position few worried about this spring football camp it was the safety position. Thatâ€™s because depth, experience and talented youth all existed.
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However, that doesnâ€™t mean there werenâ€™t important things to figure out or curiosity to see what this group would look like now that a new coaching staff is in place. Sometimes coaching helps players previously thought to be dead come back to life, other times it exposes a potential weakness.
After a full 15 practices, one thing became crystal clear â€” this group is going to be just fine. Nothing to really see here, unless you want to take a look in to the future.
Letâ€™s take a look at where the safety position stands following spring ball.
Projected Depth Chart:
1. Michael Caputo, Sr. â€” If youâ€™re asked to pick out the heart and soul of the Badgers 2014 defense, my personal answer would be Michael Caputo. Iâ€™d also offer up evidence of what happened to Wisconsinâ€™s stats on defense pre and post-injury for him as a great case for why. Heâ€™ll be back for one final year, and as long as heâ€™s healthy, the Badgers defense can do so many different things with him in. Caputo allows Aranda to play around and be the evil genius he is. Enjoy this final season, because things are bound to change big time next year.
2. Lubern Figaro, So. â€” While Figaro faded and Leo Musso saw much more in the way of playing time at the end of last season, Figaro appears ready to learn from his freshman season and move on. He came out with the No. 2 defense to start the spring game and played solid in a much more base look to the defense in general. Given his starting experience, Figaro isnâ€™t likely to be deposed of his backup role this season.
1. Tanner McEvoy, Sr. â€” There is little question that McEvoy changes and enhances what the Badgers defense can do in the secondary. Heâ€™s got all the range, his height kills opponents hoping to pop a pass over the top of the defense and he isnâ€™t afraid to hit. Weâ€™ll see what happens this fall with his ability to read offenses, but this could be a massive year for McEvoy.
2. Evan Bondoc, RS Fr. â€” Most wouldnâ€™t be able to pick Bondoc out of a lineup if they tried, but that all changed during the spring game. He posted perhaps the best overall performance on the defense, doing so while going against the first team offense for most of the game. Bondoc has some work to do, and some serious challenges to his spot come fall camp, thatâ€™s for sure. Donâ€™t sell this former walk-on short though, but also donâ€™t sell Joe Ferguson, who started the spring game at the top of the “backup” defense, short either.
This will be an interesting battle come fall.
What We Learned:
If there is a deeper and more talented position on the Badgers roster, please introduce me to it. Not only is McEvoy coming on strong after the spring camp, but a player like Serge Trezy wasnâ€™t even seeing minutes and moved to running back because of it.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the spring camp was getting the knowledge that the Badgers have plenty of depth for the future, including the emergence of Bondoc out of simply nowhere before the spring.
Heâ€™s in a tight battle with the likes of Lubern Figaro and Joe Ferguson for minutes on the field come this fall.
Wisconsin hasnâ€™t been more than two-deep at this position group in years, so the fact that multiple players are looking good and capable of stepping in to a starting role should anything happen is music to the ears of the coaching staff and Badgers fans alike.