JUCO transfer headed to Fresno State, not Badgers
JUN 18, 2013 11:59a ET
According to CBS 47 in Fresno, Calif., junior college transfer Donnell Vercher has been denied admission to Wisconsin and will instead play football at Fresno State. The TV station reported Vercher's grades were not an issue, and he would be eligible to play for the Bulldogs this season.
The news comes less than a week after fellow safety Reggie Mitchell left the program, reportedly to attend the University of Pittsburgh, and it leaves Wisconsin particularly thin at safety. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Vercher was expected to come in and contribute immediately at strong safety alongside free safety Dezmen Southward, who is the only returning starter for the Badgers in the secondary.
Last season at Fresno (Calif.) City College, Vercher recorded 23 tackles and eight interceptions to earn All-American honors. He originally committed to Fresno State before deciding on Wisconsin.
"We felt like we needed to put ourselves in a position to up the numbers there," Badgers coach Gary Andersen said of Vercher in February on National Signing Day. "He's a tremendous, tremendous athlete. He led the junior college in interceptions, if I'm not mistaken. He moves around very well. Tough-minded kid, good tackler. Academics is very important to him. So we wanted a safety and wanted to try to find some experience at the safety spot."
With the safety position thin, it is possible junior college transfer TJ Reynard could be asked to contribute. Reynard came to Independence (Kan.) Community College as a cornerback but switched to safety during his freshman season to get on the field. He recorded 88 tackles to rank in the top 20 of all junior college players in that category.
Redshirt junior Michael Trotter (24 tackles, one sack last season) and redshirt sophomore Michael Caputo (10 tackles) also will likely be in the mix to play at safety for Wisconsin.
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