June 16, 2009

Safeties shine during three-day camp

With Wisconsin set to lose three seniors with significant playing time to graduation after the 2009 season, safety is an area of emphasis in the upcoming senior class.

During the Badgers' three-day camp, which concluded Tuesday night, two particular safety prospects stood out in the eyes of defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks.

"You could tell the coaches were impressed because of the attention they gave me," said Michael Trotter, a 6-foot, 200-pounder from Milwaukee (Wis.) Marquette University. "Coach Cooks was impressed and said I might hear some good news soon."

Another recruit that shined in the secondary was Ray Vinopal, a 5-foot-10, 178-pound safety from Youngstown (OH) Cardinal Mooney.

"I went to Wisconsin's camp and Coach (Kerry) Cooks said that I'm definitely an offer guy, and he definitely thinks they are going to offer me," Vinopal told BadgerBlitz.com Tuesday night. "He said I'm going to have to wait about a week until they finish up their senior camps, but he said Coach Bielema really likes me.

"Coach Cooks said I should know by the 22nd of this month, but I'm a guy they plan on offering once they iron everything out after the next camp."

Though neither prospect was told the exact number of safeties Wisconsin's was looking to add in the 2010 class, both are sitting high of UW's big board.

"Coach Cooks said that I'm in their top three on their safety board, but he also said it helps me because he thinks I can play cornerback, too," Vinopal said. "That's a big plus for me, and Coach (Joe) Rudolph said the same thing."

Rudolph, who handles the bulk of UW's recruiting in Ohio, is the primary contact for Vinopal.

"Our relationship is pretty good," Vinopal said. "We keep in touch and I talk to him about once a week or so."

Vinopal plans on visiting Pittsburgh Friday and West Virginia Sunday, but he came away happy with Madison during his most recent camp stop.

"I'd be real excited to see the offer come through," he said. "I liked it up there a lot and I thought it was really neat. I'm keeping my eyes open to everything, but they (Wisconsin) would definitely be up there."

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