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    Tuesday, December 23, 2008

    Breaking Down The Badgers: Secondary

    The Badger secondary is highlighted by the play of senior cornerback Allen Langford and sophomore safety Jay Valai.

    Langford was named team MVP as voted on by his teammates and was also a first-team All-Big Ten selection as chosen by the media. Langford, who suffered an ACL injury late last year, ranked third in the Big Ten with 14 passes defended, including two interceptions. During conference play he tied for the league lead with 11 passes defended.

    Sophomore strong safety Jay Valai, a second-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches, has quickly gained a reputation as a big hitter. In his first season as a starter, he tied for the Big Ten lead with three forced fumbles this season. He also put a hit on Minnesota running back Shady Salamon that knocked the “M” logo off his helmet. Valai enters the bowl game fifth on the team in tackles (52) and first in forced fumbles (three).

    For the season, the Badgers were ranked #6 in the conference in interceptions with 12 and none returned for a TD. Wisconsin corner Niles Brinkley led the team in interceptions with 4. In passes defended, Wisconsin ranked #8 in the conference for 2008. Langford and Brinkley rank #2 and #3 respectively in the conference for passes defended. Wisconsin's pass defense is ranked #4 in the conference allowing 189.1 yards a game and 13 TDs through the air.

    Wisconsin secondary depth chart:

    Left Cornerback
    29 Niles Brinkley, 5-10, 177, So.
    23 Mario Goins, 6-1, 186, Fr.

    Strong Safety
    12 Jay Valai, 5-9, 197, So.
    8 Aubrey Pleasant, 6-1, 198, Jr.

    Free Safety
    21 Chris Maragos, 6-0, 189, Jr.
    25 Shane Carter, 6-2, 202, Jr.

    Right Cornerback
    17 Allen Langford, 5-11, 189, Sr.
    10 Devin Smith, 5-11. 185, Fr.

    26 Antonio Fenelus, 5-10, 175, Fr

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