COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UND names captains
The UND football team changed its approach to naming captains this spring. Fighting Hawks coach Bubba Schweigert wanted to enter the offseason with established leaders. With that in mind, a trio of juniors and a senior have been pegged as captain...
The UND football team changed its approach to naming captains this spring.
Fighting Hawks coach Bubba Schweigert wanted to enter the offseason with established leaders.
With that in mind, a trio of juniors and a senior have been pegged as captains for the 2016 season, a year with plenty of expectations for the program.
UND's players voted junior quarterback Keaton Studsrud, senior tight end Luke Mathewson, junior linebacker Connor O'Brien and junior safety Cole Reyes as team captains.
"I think it's always important to have your team members vote a quarterback to be received as a leader," Schweigert said. "That's a good sign."
In his first year as full-time regular in 2015, Studsrud started eight games and the team went 7-2 in games he played a majority of the snaps. He finished the year 99-for-165 passing for 1,262 yards and 12 touchdowns. He completed 60 percent of his passes and was 36-for-45 (80 percent) for 517 yards and five touchdowns during UND's three-game winning streak to close out the year.
Mathewson, of Libertyville, Ill., appeared in all 11 games, starting seven. He caught the first seven passes of his career, which went for 90 yards.
"I think Luke is the epitome of what we want a football player to be here," Schweigert said. "He's steady, works hard and represents us well on and off the field."
O'Brien, of Lemont, Ill., appeared in 11 games and started six at inside linebacker. He finished third on the team in tackles with 61.
"Connor is very smart and knows our scheme," Schweigert said.
Reyes, of Schaumburg, Ill., finished second on the team in tackles a year ago, ending only behind Will Ratelle, who's now in training camp with the Atlanta Falcons.
Reyes had 71 tackles in nine games. He had one interception and one fumble recovery.
"Cole is recognized by his teammates as a top player on our team and a guy they look to for leadership," Schweigert said.
UND, which was ranked No. 15 in a preseason FCS poll by Athlon, opens the season Sept. 1, a Thursday, at 6 p.m. at Stony Brook (N.Y.).
"I like the picks," Schweigert said of his captains. "We hold those guys to a high standard. When you're a captain, there's a lot of responsibility."