Notre Dame Names Seven Team Captains For 2019
A record-tying seven team captains were announced via Twitter by the Notre Dame football office on Saturday morning.
Quarterback Ian Book, receiver Chris Finke, and right tackle Robert Hainsey will represent the offense, while defensive ends Khalid Kareem and Julian Okwara plus safeties Jalen Elliott and Alohi Gilman head up the other side of the ball.
All seven were among the eight Spring/Summer Workout Accountability Team (SWAT) leaders selected back in January.
• For the first time in head coach Brian Kelly’s 10 seasons, a quarterback is a captain. Book, who took over as the starter in game four last season and helped guide Notre Dame to the College Football Playoff, is the first since junior Jimmy Clausen in 2009. Book's 154.0 pass efficiency rating last season was 17th overall nationally and the best in the Kelly era.
• Former walk-on Finke is a graduate student enrolled in a Master of Science business program. He caught 49 passes last season, highlighted by the acrobatic touchdown in the crucial 24-17 opening game win versus Michigan.
• The junior Hainsey is the lone non-senior in the group, and this marks the eighth consecutive year that the offensive line has had representation as a position group.
• This is the first time since 2001 that Notre Dame has had both starting defensive ends named captains. That unit from 18 years ago featured second-round pick Anthony Weaver and Grant Irons, who played five years in the NFL. Both Kareem and Okwara have seen their names mentioned as potential first- or second-round material in 2020 NFL mock drafts.
The 1977 national champs also had two defensive end captains in first-round pick Ross Browner and second-round choice Willie Fry.
• Elliott and Gilman are the first starting safety tandem to both be named captains in the same season. They combined for 162 tackles, 12 pass breakups, six interceptions and four forced fumbles last year.
Notre Dame first named a school record seven captain in 2017. They were offensive linemen Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson, linebackers Nyles Morgan and Greer Martini, rover Drue Tranquill, walk-on Austin Webster, with junior running back Josh Adams added in August.
Last year the number was four with Tranquill, offensive linemen Sam Mustipher and Alex Bars, and punter Tyler Newsome.
To be named a captain at Notre Dame is an unbelievable honor.— Brian Kelly (@CoachBrianKelly) August 10, 2019
These men have shown they can lead by exhibiting the TRAITS each and every day.
Proud to announce Ian, Jalen, Chris, Alohi, Robert, Khalid and Julian as our team captains for the 2019-20 season.#GraduatingChampions pic.twitter.com/xo2XI8S228