ANN ARBOR, Mich.
-- University of Michigan head football coach Lloyd Carr
announced today (Monday, Aug. 19) the selection of two fifth-year seniors and three-year letterwinners as captains for the 2002 Wolverine team. Outside linebacker Victor Hobson (Mt. Laurel, N.J./St. Joseph's Prep, Pa.)
was selected as the defensive captain, while tight end Bennie Joppru (Wayzata, Minn./Minnetonka HS)
will represent the offensive side of the ball.
"The Michigan captains are selected by their teammates, making it the single greatest honor a Michigan football player can receive," Carr said. "Traditionally it is an honor bestowed on young men who are outstanding players and possess outstanding leadership qualities.
"Victor and Bennie are quality people," Carr added. "Both are fifth-year seniors and they are good students, enrolled in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. Along with their senior teammates they will provide excellent leadership for this team."
Hobson is a preseason All-America candidate and has been mentioned for both the Butkus Award and the Lombardi Award heading into the 2002 campaign. Hobson has played in all 36 games the past three seasons and had made 26 starts. He earned the Roger Zatkoff Award as Michigan's top linebacker in 2000 and has made 178 tackles in his career, including 30 TFLs and nine quarterback sacks. He led the team with 60 solo tackles last season and is the top returning tackler (80).
A hard-nosed veteran, Joppru has played in 33 of the 36 games the past three seasons and has made 11 career starts. He caught a career-high 17 passes in 2001 and has made 32 career receptions for 221 yards and three touchdowns. Joppru's career-best reception was a 24-yarder from Tom Brady against Alabama in the 2000 Orange Bowl game (1999 season).
Hobson and Joppru will lead the No. 10 (coaches)/No. 12 (AP) Wolverines into the season opener against No. 9 Washington on Saturday, Aug. 31, at Michigan Stadium. The noon kickoff will be shown nationally on ABC Sports.
-- This is the second straight year, but only the second time in the last five years, that the Wolverines have had two captains.
-- Hobson is the 16th different linebacker selected captain since Bo Schembechler instituted "co-captains" in 1970, while Joppru becomes the fifth tight end since that time to be named captain. The last individual team captain was tight end Jim Mandich in 1969, Bo's first season at Michigan.
-- Hobson is the fourth linebacker to be named captain during Carr's eight seasons, joining Eric Brackins (2001), Eric Mayes (1997) and Jarrett Irons (1995-96).
-- Joppru is the second tight end selected captain during Carr's tenure, joining last season's captain, Shawn Thompson (2001).
Contact: David Ablauf, Jim Schneider (734) 763-4423