A day after addressing the need for a quarterback in his inherited recruiting class with junior college transfer Tanner McEvoy, new Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen reeled in another commitment from a JUCO player to address needs in the secondary.Needing to replace three starting defensive backs from last season’s team with just safety Dezmen Southward returning, Andersen took the first step toward replenishing the depleted positional group by securing a verbal commitment from safety and JUCO All-American Donnell Vercher of Fresno (Calif.) City College.Vercher, a three-star recruit according to ESPN.com, will be the first player from Fresno City College to play at a Big Ten school since wide receiver Arsenio Curry signed with Purdue in 2008.The 6-foot-2 and 195-pound safety had 23 tackles and eight interceptions this past season for the Rams, helping to lead the team to a 8-3 record in 2012 and a tie for first place atop the Northern California Valley conference. In 2011 Vercher recorded three interceptions and 29 tackles.Andersen and his defensive coordinator Dave Aranda recruited Vercher during their time at Utah State. Vercher chose Wisconsin over Fresno State, where he was once a soft verbal-commit, and Syracuse.The commitment adds security to a Badgers recruiting class that is severely lacking at safety. Vercher remains the lone safety commit in the 2013 recruiting class. Wisconsin adds more depth to their secondary with two cornerback recruits in Keelon Brooking, a three-star recruit and the No. 76 cornerback in the nation and Sojourn Shelton, a four-star recruit and the No. 27 cornerback in the nation.Both Brooking and Shelton have already enrolled at Wisconsin for the spring semester.Andersen and the Badgers also continue to target Marcus Ball, the brother of Wisconsin’s offensive lineman Ray Ball and the No. 67 athlete in the nation, according to ESPN.com. Ball was initially a solid verbal-commit to the Badgers but wavered after the departure of former head coach Bret Bielema. A starting quarterback and safety for Westerville South High School in Ohio, Ball will decide between Wisconsin and Arizona State on Signing Day.
Floyd862 Floyd61 Hancock704 DES MOINES — Eight of the 18 new COVID-19-related deaths reported to the state of Iowa in the last 24 hours are from Cerro Gordo County, with another from Hancock County. The Cerro Gordo County deaths took place between July 8th and the 15th. Seven of those were people over the age of 80, while one was a person in the 61-80 age range. As of newstime, no other details about the death in Hancock County have been released. That brings the number of deaths in our immediate listening area since the start of the pandemic to 16 — nine in Cerro Gordo; two each in Butler, Floyd, and Hancock; and one in Wright. 61 more positive cases of COVID-19 in our listening area were also confirmed in the 24-hour period leading up to 11 o’clock this morning — 17 of those in Cerro Gordo; 14 in Kossuth; five each in Butler, Mitchell, Winnebago, and Wright; four in Hancock; three in Worth; two in Floyd; and one in Franklin. The new cases bring the area’s pandemic total to 1316 — 409 in Wright; 364 in Cerro Gordo; 118 in Franklin; 86 in Floyd; 75 in Butler; 70 in Hancock; 58 in Kossuth; 53 in Mitchell; 52 in Winnebago and 31 in Worth. Nine more people with COVID-19 have been reported as fully recovered — six in Cerro Gordo; and single cases in Butler, Mitchell, and Winnebago — to bring the area total to 765, or just under 60%. Looking at the statewide numbers in the same 24-hour period leading up to 11 o’clock this morning — 830 more cases of COVID-19 have been reported for a pandemic total of 36,866. 258 more have recovered for a total of 27,360. DeathsNew Wright1 Hancock21 Kossuth Worth313 Worth10 Kossuth5814 Butler2 Butler561 Winnebago Cerro Gordo36417 Mitchell371 Mitchell535 Franklin Confirmed CasesNew Cases Floyd2 Wright332 Area Total7659 Kossuth27 Cerro Gordo98 Franklin1181 RecoveredNew Recovered Winnebago525 Area Total16 Wright4095 Butler755 Hancock50 Worth Mitchell Winnebago241 Cerro Gordo996 Franklin69 Area Total131661