For the first time since 2009, and just the fourth time overall, Michigan has elected four captains to lead the Wolverines, choosing left tackle Taylor Lewan, linebackers Jake Ryan and Cam Gordon, and safety Courtney Avery.
Lewan was a no-brainer after returning for his senior season, foregoing a likely top-10 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft while Gordon and Avery are both well-respected among their peers, and should be key performers this fall. Ryan, eligible as a fourth-year junior, has battled back from a ACL injury in the spring to put himself in a position to return in October, potentially earlier.
The big surprise is that neither junior quarterback Devin Gardner nor senior safety Thomas Gordon were picked. Both represented the Maize and Blue at the Big Ten Coaches Meetings in July (usually a pretty good indicator of future captains) and are expected to be the de facto leaders of the offense and defense.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke and select players (likely the four captains) will address the media on Monday. Today, Hoke released this statement on the selections:
"I think all of our seniors have done a great job of leading since we started the season in January, and the team did a great job of voting four guys who are extremely deserving of being named captains of Team 134," said Hoke. "They all are great examples of team leaders."