For the second time in 121 seasons of playing football, Ohio State will have six team captains this fall.
The Buckeyes announced that seniors Bryant Browning, Cameron Heyward, Ross Homan, Brian Rolle, Brandon Saine and Dane Sanzenbacher have all been named captains for the 2010 season.
The last time six players were named captain was in 1982, when Glen Cobb, Jerome Foster, Joe Lukens, Marcus Marek, Tim Spencer and Gary Williams all were so honored. In addition, five captains were selected in the 1974, 1989 and 1990 seasons.
“A leader has a responsibility to take care of business, so now I have to step up to the plate,” Heyward, a defensive lineman who has 32 career starts, said in a release. “This is one of those honors you think about since you were a kid, being captain of your team. It’s a tremendous feeling.”
Last year's squad had three captains, all from the defensive side of the ball, and rotated in a fourth offensive member for each game.
As fall camp began, Saine said he would like the chance to be a captain.
"It would be amazing," the running back said Aug. 5. "We have a captains’ breakfast every year and you see these great players come back and speak to us. I wasn’t even the captain of my high school team because I’m not a very vocal person. I think that it would be a great honor. I’d love it."
Browning, who has 27 career starts along the offensive line, said he is honored to be a captain.
“I have tried to be a leader throughout my career," he said. "I hope this shows that my teammates appreciate what I have done. Now I am hoping to be one of the leaders of a great team, a championship team.”
Rounding out the offensive side is Sanzenbacher, a wide receiver who caught a touchdown pass on his first reception in his first game as a freshman in 2007.
"It’s a real honor to be mentioned among these great leaders,” he said. “I don’t think it will change much for me; I just want to continue to contribute to this program any way I can."
Heyward is joined by two linebackers in Homan and Rolle. Homan is a fifth-year senior.
“I’m excited and humbled,” he said. “But because I’m a captain, my role won’t change. I want to still be the same hard-working person.”
Said Rolle: “When I look at the other seniors on this team, this is such a great honor. It’s quite an honor to think that my teammates recognize how hard I’ve worked. I’m looking forward to a great season.”
Not included in the mix is junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the Big Ten's preseason offensive player of the year. At the Big Ten Media Days in Chicago, head coach Jim Tressel said he felt the team had enough senior leadership to warrant not bestowing the honor on Pryor.
"A lot of times who the team selects as captain is partially dependent on how many older guys you have that have those kinds of capabilities as well," the coach said. "I would think that for Terrelle there would be some groundswell, but maybe not as much as you might have if you didn’t have such a strong senior class."