Barely into summer conditioning, the departures just keep on coming for the Wisconsin Badgers. Safety Donnell Vercher, a JUCO commit from Fresno (Calif.) City College, was denied admission to Wisconsin and will instead play for Fresno State, according to CBS 47 in Fresno. The reason for the denial is currently unclear, though CBS 47 is reporting grades will not prevent Vercher from playing immediately at Fresno State.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound safety initially chose Wisconsin over Fresno State and Syracuse after visiting Madison shortly before National Signing Day in February. He previously committed to Fresno State late last December, though he decommitted Jan. 28 after drawing interest from larger schools. Vercher notched 23 tackles and eight interceptions at the JUCO ranks last season, enticing Wisconsin's new coaching staff as a potential ballhawk for a secondary that lost Marcus Cromartie, Shelton Johnson and Devin Smith to graduation after last season.
Last week, redshirt freshman Reggie Mitchell was released from his scholarship and will likely transfer to his hometown team, Pittsburgh. Mitchell was a projected starter at safety coming out of spring, and now the Badgers have a gaping hole to fill in the secondary. Aside from senior strong safety Dezmen Southward, the Badgers are left with junior Michael Trotter (three career starts), sophomore Michael Caputo (one start) and senior Kyle Zuleger, who converted to defensive back from running back this spring. Junior running back Jeffrey Lewis is also expected to switch over to defense, and he could be another candidate to get reps at safety.
Senior quarterback Danny O'Brien also left the Badgers earlier this month, electing to try to find a destination where he could challenge for the starting job.