Penn State football officially announced his captains Saturday afternoon 2019, according to the vote of the coaches and players of the program.
Captains, in order of seniority, are listed below:
- Cam Brown (senior, linebacker)
- Blake Gillikin (senior, bettor)
- Jan Johnson (senior, linebacker)
- Garrett Taylor (senior, security)
- Michal Menet (junior, center)
- Sean Clifford (second student, quarterback)
- Pat Freiermuth (second year, tight end)
- Jonathan Sutherland (sophomore, security)
Gillikin is the only captain on the team to come back this year. The excellent bettor holds the Penn State record for kick yards (42.33) and the season average (43.95) and is the only player in Penn State history to record three more throws. 70 yards, all in 2018.
Newly appointed starting quarter Sean Clifford also acts as team captain. Clifford gained valuable experience playing behind Trace McSorley last season and will act as the team leader once the season has started. He completed five of his seven pass attempts for 195 yards and two touchdowns in his small sample of play.
Linebackers Cam Brown and Jan Johnson are both new captains this year. Brown led the team with three forced fumbles in 2018 and recorded 63 tackles in total. Johnson, however, has scored five or more tackles in nine games in his first season as a starter. The scorer in the middle of the match in the only game came when he made 11 goals against Appalachian State.
Senior safety Garret Taylor is an obvious choice for the captain. The outstanding defensive back finished his junior season with three interceptions and 71 tackles in total, including a huge interception loss of 27 to 26 against the state of Ohio last year. Taylor is accompanied by his colleague Jonathan Sutherland, who is in charge of security, projected Sutherland recorded 38 tackles in 2018 and a forced fumble on a punt return against Indiana.
Offensive lineman Michal Menet is the only junior captain this time. Menet started 12 games at the Nittany Lions' center in 2018 and is about to become the "Quarterback for the offensive line" entering the 2019 season. The presence of the veteran offensive lineman also helped Penn State to finish 16th in the red zone offensive over the past year.
Pat Freiermuth was captain after an impressive 2018 season during which he participated in 26 receptions for 368 yards and scored eight touchdowns, the largest number for a tight start in the program's history. His impressive first season earned ESPN and 247Sports first-year All-American honors and All-Big Ten honors.
2019 seems to be breaking a trend for Penn State football, which has generally been named just three captains by season (one in attack, in defense and in special teams). No reason has been provided for the apparent change.
The new Penn State captains will lead the Nittany Lions on the pitch for the first time when the Nittany Lions open the season against Idaho on Saturday, August 31.
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