Torchio continues Wisconsin’s run of success by rambling

Madison, Wisconsin (AP) – Wisconsin’s history of developing suggestions in major contributors caused John Turchio to make a leap of faith and pass on a scholarship offer from his hometown school he was brought up to follow.

Torchio lived 10 minutes from the California campus and regularly attended Golden Bears home games. His father and grandfather played there. He even remembers former Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers visiting his house several times during his college career in the NFL.

That’s why so many of Torchio’s friends were surprised when he chose his college.

Everyone was like, ‘What the heck?’ What are you doing?’ ‘I bet myself,’ said Torchio.

Gambling pays off big for Torchio and the 19th seed Badgers, who host Washington State on Saturday after both teams won their season-opening games.

Torchio scored in the return of the school’s 100-yard interception and scored a sack last week in Wisconsin’s 38-0 win over Illinois State. Now on scholarship, Torchio leads a safety group trying to overcome multiple injuries.

“The guys really respect him,” Wisconsin coach Paul Crest said. “They respect him because he is consistent with his identity. He has always been a good teammate, always locked in.”

Wisconsin has already taken a few hits in the safety position with Travian Blaylock picking up a season-ending knee injury in spring training and Hunter Wooler injuring his left leg against Illinois State. This forced the Badgers to rely more on Torchio.

He is the latest Wisconsin tour to mature into an outstanding artist.

Since 1990, Wisconsin has produced 107 participants who have applied for scholarships and 25 of them have made it to the NFL. The list is headed by J.J. Watt, Three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

“I wouldn’t choose to decline a scholarship and walk into a place that doesn’t handle walking like (Wisconsin) or has history,” Torchio said. who said he also received offers from San Jose State and Rice, among others. “I was very aware of that.”

It hardly mattered to Turchio that a future Cal Hall of Fame quarterback stopped near his house so many times.

Torchio was only a few years old when Rodgers played for Cal from 2003-2004. On Wednesday, Rodgers recalled how he and ex-Cal sanctioned David Looney visited the homes of some window guards as part of their window-washing business at the time.

“I’m still in touch with Dave for a bit, and still one of our jokes is about how literally that summer he’s inside the air-conditioner, hanging out and eating snacks and drinking roses, and I’ve been outside with wipers slashing (the butt) and dying outside,” the quarterback told Green. Bye Packers.

By the time Torchio was old enough to start the college selection process, he was familiar with Wisconsin because his sister, Katherine, played football for the Badgers. One of her Wisconsin friends was Jack Seche, a former quarterback who was selected in the sixth round of the 2018 draft.

When he was considering schools, Torchio reached out to Cichy to learn more about his walking experience. Torchio’s time in Wisconsin has given him a better understanding of why walking in Madison is so successful.

Torchio remembers that when he got his scholarship ahead of the 2021 season, some of his teammates didn’t even realize he was going apace.

“That’s probably what stands out as different from the other programs,” Torchio said. “No one cares if you’re on foot or not. If you can play plays and do your job, you’ll get a chance.”

Torchio made the most of his shots.

Although the Illinois State game was only the fifth start to Torchio’s career, he already had four interceptions. His three objections last season tied to lead the team.

No wonder his teammates called him the “jewelry thief.” Torchio said the unusual nickname came from Wisconsin coach Chris Hering when Hering was coaching special teams.

“She’s got a good little ring to it,” Torchio said. “Love her.”

Torchio’s football nose looked clear on Saturday. Torchio told teammate Nick Herbig he’s about to get a pass before handing over the longest interception in school history.

“So much of being a football hawk is understanding how to use that vision in a midfielder and being in the right place at the right time,” defensive coordinator Jim Leonard said. “He’s got it from day one.”

As the nickname “jewelry thief” may be appropriate, Wisconsin quarterback Jay Shaw says he has his own nickname for Torchio.

“My name for him is Little Leonhard,” Shaw said. “Because in that movie room, he’s one of the embodiments of what Coach Leonard was doing here in his days.”

Leonard was a Wisconsin safety guard, earned All-America honors and played 10 seasons in the NFL. Torchio plays the same situation and likes to follow a similar path.

Of course, he tries to absorb anything Leonard tells him.

“It’s good to know my coach, the guy who tells me technical style, was in my shoes and did a bunch of plays,” Torchio said.

Torchio shows that he can put on great plays, too. Badgers need this to last all season.


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