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Wisconsin football: Utah safety Kamo’i Latu transfers to UW

The Badgers bolster their depth at safety with the former high school teammate of Nick Herbig.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 18 Utah at San Diego State Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After visiting Madison last weekend, former Utah Utes safety Kamo’i Latu (Honolulu) announced on Friday afternoon that he was transferring to Wisconsin. Latu has played in 19 games for the Utes in his career, with one start. He will provide immediate depth for the Badgers at safety, a position that has suffered multiple injuries already this spring.

Coming out of high school, Latu was rated as a 3-star prospect by the 247 Composite in the 2020 class. He was listed as the No. 1,230 player and No. 88 safety in the country as well as the No. 12 player in Hawaii. He played his high school ball at Saint Louis High School and, if that name sounds familiar, was teammates with UW’s star OLB Nick Herbig. Latu was first team all-state in both his junior and senior seasons at Saint Louis while also being invited to the 2020 Polynesian Bowl.

Last year he played in all 14 games for the Pac-12 champion Utes, racking up 19 tackles and three passes broken up. In his one start, against Southern Cal, he had a team-high 10 tackles and earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors.

Preston Zachman and Travian Blaylock, two safeties in the rotation, are out indefinitely, so the Badgers only have four healthy safeties on the roster, and two of them (Owen Arnett and Bryce Carey) are walk-ons that have no experience playing collegiately. Latu has three seasons of eligibility left, if my COVID math is correct, and should enter the two-deep quickly.