Rutgers football head coach Chris Ash announced today that Chris Muller, Derrick Nelson, Darius Hamilton, and Julian Pinnix-Odrick have been selected as team captains for the 2016 season. Hamilton becomes the first three-time team captain in program history.
We speculated last week on who would be ultimately selected and admittedly missed Derrick Nelson completely. You all voted Chris Muller, JPO, and Anthony Cioffi as the three players to join Darius Hamilton as captains this year.
All four captains are 5th-year seniors and interestingly, all linemen. It is no secret that the strengths of this team are the offensive and defensive lines and that hold true with the selection of captains.
Hamilton was a lock to be a captain and his entering his third consecutive year as one. He spent last year on the sidelines with a “lower-body injury” but was still a crucial part of the team, as you could always find him in the defensive huddles and leading the team onto the field. He is the best player on the team and is the perfect model of a Rutgers student-athlete.
Muller is entering his 4th consecutive year as the starting right guard. He is the best offensive lineman and has been a huge leader for this team and has started 37 straight games. He was awarded the “R” Man Courage Award, which according to Rutgers is given to the player demonstrating courage, belief, strength and inspiration to all. Those qualities certainly parallel with those required for captainship.
Derrick Nelson bursted onto the scene last year when he won the starting center job. Off the field, he is a nominee for the AFCA Good Works Team for his tireless efforts in his Washington DC area community.
Julian Pinnix-Odrick was hyped up during the preseason last year before moving inside to defensive tackle and struggling at times. This season, he has moved back to defensive end and is one the coaches’ favorite players on the team. The believe he is an All-B1G talent and hopefully he reaches his potential. He has also been on the conference all-academic team for three straight years.
All four of these players have demonstrated tremendous abilities on the field as well as great leadership skills that make these choices not surprising. The team is in good hands.