Most Indispensable Badger - No.3

Leading up to the season opener Aug.30, BadgerNation will announce its list of the 30 most important players to the Badgers' success in the 2014 season. Junior safety Michael Caputo proved his worth last year in Wisconsin's secondary and will be relied on with more responsibilities this season.

Michael Caputo is your stereotypical Badger. Starting out as a guy that not many people thought would be a high impact player, the junior has worked his way up into a starting role and will be one of the biggest keys to their success this season. Caputo has become the clear leader at the safety position and will need to have another remarkable season in order to help the defense be as successful as they were last season.

Stats: Recorded 63 tackles (36 solo) finishing second on the team … Recorded three tackles for loss and three pass deflections.

Strengths: Caputo has impressive strength and aggressiveness, thanks to his original outside linebacker position. He is great at disrupting plays in the air as in the run game.

Weaknesses: Caputo does lack some speed mainly because the opposing receivers and running backs are beyond quick. He also lacks some jumping ability when it comes to disrupting a receivers passing lane.

Why he is where he is: Without Caputo, the Badgers would lack a lot of defensive aggressiveness and would struggle in the air. Moving between safety and outside linebacker, Caputo will help the defense be more aggressive and will cause havoc for opposing offenses.

Overall: With a season at safety under his belt, Caputo will be called upon by the coaching staff to make big plays as much as possible. His impressive play last year will only help him when he goes into this season. Look for Caputo to make the corners’ jobs a little easier by assisting them on deep passes. His strength and aggressiveness will play a huge part a vital part to the Badgers’ defensive success.

Up Next: Although still young, No.2 on our list has a chance to be one of the best players in the Big Ten at his position after this season.

Note: This is not a list of the team's 30 best players or a series about past success, but rather a list of which players are the most critical to the team’s success in 2014. The list was created based on a player’s overall importance, impact on the field, the player’s position and expectations. True freshmen were not considered for this season.

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