Heading into their first game week of the season, the Texas Longhorns named their team captains Saturday, choosing Anthony Wheeler, Andrew Beck, Breckyn Hager, Chris Nelson and Elijah Rodriguez to represent them this season.
Again this year, players voted for their representatives, however unlike a year ago, all five players selected are in their senior season with the Longhorns.
Wheeler was the first player named by Herman, who has been a contributor for the Longhorns since he arrived on campus in 2015. He gave fans an indication of his capabilities in the Texas Bowl win over the Missouri Tigers, recording six tackles and returning a fumble 38 yards for a score.
Beck, who was slated to start as at tight end a year ago before losing the season to an injury, returns to lead the Longhorns as the top tight end for his fifth year on campus. He’s played in 37 games over the span three seasons, including 13 starts, and he should see that number continue to climb as the slated starter at tight end.
A fan-favorite, Hager looks to build off of his late-season success after making the switch from linebacker to defensive end. He should continue to make a big impact and provide a spark for a talented defensive unit.
Nelson, who is slated to hold down the center of the defense in 2018 in place of Poona Ford, has already put together a successful career in burnt orange. Throughout his three seasons, Nelson played 31 games with 15 starts, amassing 70 total tackles and three sacks.
Rodriguez rounds out the group, taking Connor Williams’s spot representing the offensive line among the captains. He’s expected to start at right guard for the Longhorns as the offensive line looks to improve its performance from a year ago. Rodriguez missed nearly the entirety of the 2017 campaign due to a knee injury but was able to step in for the Texas Bowl and start at left tackle. In the spring, Rodriguez also spent time playing center due to depth issues.
Now that the captains are in-place, Texas heads into a week of preparation, looking to avenge last year’s season-opening loss to the Maryland Terrapins.
The Longhorns season gets underway on the road at FedEx Field on Sept. 1.