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The news just keeps getting worse for the Wisconsin secondary.
CBS-TV in Fresno State reports that Fresno (CA) City College defensive back Donnell Vercher was denied admission to Wisconsin and will instead sign with Fresno State, who he originally committed last season.
The 6-2 and 195-pound Vercher had 23 tackles and team-high eight interceptions this past season and picked Wisconsin over Fresno State and Syracuse after taking an official visit to the Badgers the weekend before national signing day in February.
A call to Vercher’s cell phone was not immediately returned.
Losing three starters from last year’s Rose Bowl team, Gary Andersen and his staff worked tirelessly to find an experienced safety to help fill the void. Described as ‘a ballhawk’ at every level, Vercher was expected to be a key part in UW’s defense and compete for playing time immediately.
Vercher was one of three junior college players Andersen signed in the 2013 recruiting class.
“We looked at Donnell quite a bit over the last year, and saw him grow and develop as he went through his sophomore
Season,” Andersen said on signing day. “He has a lot of options. We got on him again a little late. He
was on our radar in our past, we got back on him late after he came back
from what was going to be his last trip, and we asked him up to come out
on the last weekend. He handled himself very, very well. I am excited about
him. We expect him to come in and compete in the safety position.”
CBS said it was told Vercher's grades are not an issue, and he can play for Fresno State this season.
The report comes a week after redshirt freshman Reggie Mitchell, who worked as the starting safety opposite senior Dezmen Southward through spring camp, reportedly is transferring to Pittsburgh.
The sudden lack of depth will put even more pressure on junior Michael Trotter and sophomore Michael Caputo. Trotter started three games last season but his play was uneven. Caputo played in all 14 games last season, starting one, and made 10 tackles.