The Wisconsin Badgers transfer portal movements are far from over as another Badger has finalized his paperwork to leave the university.
Former Arkansas recruit Vito Calvaruso has announced that he will enter the transfer portal for the second time in his collegiate career. In his lone season as a Badger, Calvaruso made all seven of his extra points and went 1-for-3 on his field goal attempts. After Wisconsin added transfer kicker Nathanial Vakos, Calvaruso found himself fighting for the backup kicker position, which has led to his transfer.
Wisconsin Badgers Transfer Portal: Junior Kicker Transfers Again
The Wisconsin Badgers have now seen their third transfer of the spring season as their junior kicker is set to transfer. Calvaruso, a former walk-on for the Arkansas Razorbacks, has decided to transfer once again as he looks for more playing time at his next program. The kicker hopes to become the starting place-kicker for the next program that he lands with.
In high school, the Missouri native was known for his leg strength and ability to nail long field goals. Calvaruso also dominated kickoff for his team by forcing touch-backs consistently against his opponents. The kicker did not make any appearances as a ranked recruit. Calvaruso had offers from Army and Southeast Missouri State University out of high school, but elected to try his luck as a preferred walk-on for Arkansas.
During his time with the Razorbacks, Calvaruso spent his time as a kickoff specialist for the team. The kicker averaged 64.3 yards per kick and had 33 touch-backs in 10 appearances in 2020. Calvaruso improved during the 2021 season, with 63 touch-backs and an average of 64.8 yards per kick while playing in all 12 games for his team. Despite his performance as a kickoff specialist, Calvaruso never was able to earn the starting place-kicking role for the Razorbacks.
Calvaruso transferred to the Wisconsin Badgers after the conclusion of the 2021 season in hopes of earning the starting place-kicker job. Nate Van Zelst won the kicking job for the Badgers and took over the place-kicking duties for the 2022 season after sitting out all of 2021. Van Zelst hit 78.57% of his field goals last season and retained the starting job for the 2023 season. Gavin Lahm, a sophomore, took over the kickoff duties for the Badgers, leaving Calvaruso without a role on the team.
The junior will now look for his third collegiate program in his short career in hopes of landing a full-time kicking job. In collegiate football with the amount of kickers each program carries, it can be difficult to hold the role of the starting kicker on a team. For Calvaruso, he was given a short sample of three field goal attempts to prove himself, but ultimately Van Zelst retained his position.
The Wisconsin Badgers kicking situation should consist of Nate Van Zelst and Nathanial Vakos for the upcoming 2023 season. Special teams are an area the Badgers have worked hard to add to this off-season, and the changes that have been made will surely make their way onto the field once the season begins.
For More Wisconsin Sports Content:
Follow us @WiSportsHeroics for more College Football Transfer Portal content and @JarrettGuerrera on Twitter. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here! Check out 97.3 The Game on iHeart Radio!