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July 9, 2011

Key Badgers: No. 9 Antonio Fenelus

The Basics
Classification: Senior

Position: Cornerback

Height / Weight: 5-9 / 193

Hometown: Boca Raton, Fla.

Prev. School: N/A

What To Know
Earned First-team All-Big ten from the media in 2010 and honorable mention All-Big Ten from the coaches.

A starter in all 13 games, Fenelus led the team in interceptions and passes defended. He was also second on the team in fumbles recovered and third in pass breakups.

Where He Fits In
Barring injury, Fenelus will be UW's No. 1 corner when the season opener rolls around.

2011 Expectations
Fenelus was, and continues to be, UW's most consistent cornerback. In doing so, the senior will have lofty expectations to become the shutdown corner UW has been missing for the past number of seasons..

By Tom Lea
Senior Writer

The cornerback position for Wisconsin, at least over the past few seasons, has had potential that never really materialized. Too often, whether it was because of a soft cushion so quizzingly deployed or a failed attempt at press coverage, the cornerbacks got burned. While the defensive line, particularly the ends, has had great success over the past two seasons, the cornerback position has been just as inconsistent.

Fortunately, though, one of the returning parts for a position of absolute need for the Badger defense entering 2011 is probably the most consistent corner on the roster. And he's probably been that way for the majority of the time he's received consistent reps.

Not only is Antonio Fenelus one of the more physical cover corners on the roster, he's one of the more fundamentally sound ones, too. He's smart, heady and usually in a position to make a play. There aren't many times a play breaks down as a result of a farcical mishap from Fenelus. He's usually that refined.

That's why he's absolutely one of the most important players returning for the 2011 season. Knowing how consistently inconsistent Devin Smith is, and knowing how young the talent pool is behind those two veterans, Fenelus is going to have to be UW's No. 1 corner, and a shut down one at that. There is too much talent in the Big Ten for the Badgers to make another run at the roses without a bona fide shut down corner.

Fenelus can be that.

If spring camp was any sort of indication, it's obvious both Chris Ash and Charlie Partridge are hoping to become more aggressive, particularly when it comes to the back end of the defensive unit. Fenelus, who has good speed and even better technique, has said he enjoys pressing and that it suits his style. If he's able to cater to that mindset and philosophy, he will likely be in for a very good senior year.

At least that's what this defense will need from him.

UP NEXT: No. 8 on our list broke onto the scene a season ago and will be one of the main focal points for an offense that hopes to be as potent as it was a season ago.

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