University of Wisconsin redshirt freshman strong safety Michael Caputo made a couple nice plays during Monday’s practice, intercepting a Joel Stave pass and also forcing a fumble by running back Vonte Jackson.
Caputo was mostly a running back in high school at West Allegheny in Imperial, Pa. UW coaches debated moving him to linebacker, but Badgers coach Bret Bielema wanted him at safety.
“I was steadfast and sat him down (and said), ‘I think you can play safety here if you just play smart and get a feel for it,’ ” Bielema said. “He’s had a really nice camp.”
Bielema also thought redshirt freshman Darius Hillary “looked natural” in his first day at free safety, after moving from cornerback. That move means sophomore Michael Trotter, the former backup free safety, is now competing with Caputo for the No. 2 job at strong safety.
Goldberg gets second-team snaps
Starting defensive tackle Beau Allen has been sidelined by a sprained ankle since early in camp, but is due back soon. That’s another hit to a position trying to recover from the loss of Jordan Kohout, who was forced to give up football due to complications from migraine headaches.
That left true freshman Arthur Goldberg getting snaps at tackle with the second-team defense on Monday.
Bielema said sophomore Warren Herring will be the third tackle, behind the junior starters, Allen and Ethan Hemer. Sophomore Bryce Gilbert and Goldberg will battle for the fourth spot.
Bielema said, Goldberg, 6-foot-3, 286 pounds, “surprisingly learns pretty quickly. He’s a big body. There’s no doubt in my mind he’s going to be a good player here.”
The three starting linebackers, senior Mike Taylor and juniors Chris Borland and Ethan Armstrong, were all limited in the morning. That’s standard procedure during two-a-days for players who have had major surgeries.
Taylor and Armstrong are coming off hip operations, while Borland has a slight hamstring injury and past shoulder problems.
Sophomore wide receiver Chase Hammond was out due to a concussion.