The Nebraska football program named five team captains on Saturday afternoon with the 2017 season opener one week away. The five captains were selected by a vote of their teammates.
The group consists of three seniors and two juniors, and three players on offense and two defensive standouts. The 2017 captains also include three Nebraska natives and two players who began their Husker career as walk-on student-athletes before earning scholarships.
Offensively, fifth-year senior fullback Luke McNitt, junior quarterback Tanner Lee and junior offensive guard Jerald Foster were named captains. The Blackshirt defense will be represented by a pair of seniors, linebacker Chris Weber and safety Joshua Kalu.
A native of Kearney, Neb., McNitt has been one of Nebraska’s top special teams performers throughout his NU career and is in his second season as the starting fullback. He was placed on scholarship earlier this week. Lee is set to make his first Nebraska start on Saturday night after beginning his career at Tulane, where he was the Green Wave’s starting quarterback for two seasons.
A Lincoln native, Foster is part of a strong group of returning offensive linemen for the Huskers. Foster battled through a knee injury last season to start the final four games of his sophomore campaign.
On defense, Weber is a fifth-year senior and a product of Elkhorn High School. An academic All-America candidate, Weber will anchor the middle of the Nebraska linebacker corps this fall. Kalu has made 28 career starts in the secondary for Nebraska and has 168 tackles. After lining up at cornerback the past three seasons, he is slated to start at safety this fall.
Notes on 2017 Team Captains
· The three Nebraska natives (Foster, McNitt, Weber) to be named captains is the most in-state captains since Nebraska also had three in-state captains in 2001 (Eric Crouch, Jeremy Slechta, Dave Volk).
· The Huskers have had at least one Nebraska native as a captain for 12 consecutive seasons.
· Foster is the third captain from Lincoln in four seasons, joining Jake Cotton (2014) and Josh Banderas (2016).
· Kalu is the fifth defensive back to be a captain since 2013, joining Ciante Evans (2013), Corey Cooper (2014), Josh Mitchell (2014) and Nathan Gerry (2015, 2016).
· A Husker offensive lineman has served as a captain for five straight seasons. Foster joins Spencer Long (2013), Jake Cotton (2014), Alex Lewis (2015) and Dylan Utter (2016).
· McNitt is the first fullback to serve as a captain since Judd Davies in 2003.
· McNitt and Weber are the fourth and fifth players since 2013 to earn the role of a captain after starting their career as a walk-on. They join Spencer Long (2013), Jack Gangwish (2015) and Dylan Utter (2016) in that group.
· Lee’s selection marks the fourth time in six seasons a quarterback has served as a Husker captain, joining Taylor Martinez (2012, 2013) and Tommy Armstrong Jr. (2015).