AUSTIN, Texas — Texas will have five captains this season, all of them seniors, after two rounds of voting from Longhorns players and vetting from the coaching staff.
The Longhorns’ captains are tight end Andrew Beck, defensive linemen Breckyn Hager and Chris Nelson, offensive lineman Elijah Rodriguez and linebacker Anthony Wheeler.
“We’re really excited about our captains,” Longhorns coach Tom Herman said. “Chris Nelson … if you had told me six months ago that (Nelson) was a captain, I would have said no way, because he doesn’t say a whole lot, at least in front of coaches.
“And that’s why it’s really important that you have your team vote, because Chris was the leading vote getter. Although he may not say much in front of us coaches, it’s obvious that he’s leading off the field, and he’s leading in the locker room.
“Then to have Beck, and Hager being one of the true father-son combinations in the history of Texas football, to be captains is pretty unique.
“Elijah Rodriguez and Anthony Wheeler are two of our, you know, ‘just do right all the time’ guys that guys really listen to.”
Beck, a native of Tampa, Fla., was also a captain for the Longhorns in 2017 despite missing the entire season due to injury. A fifth-year tight end, he has played in 37 games with 16 starts for the Longhorns, while catching 12 passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns.
Hager, a native of Austin, is a fourth-year defensive lineman who has played in 34 games with nine career starts. He has totaled 105 tackles, 22 1/2 tackles for loss and 10 sacks, while adding six pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in his career. He earned honorable mention All-Big 12 after the 2017 season.
Hager is the youngest member of just the third father-son duo in school history to be named a Texas team captain; his father Britt was a captain in 1988. Ernie (1932) and Ted Koy (1969) were the first, followed by Robin (1980) and Lyle Sendlein (2006).
Nelson, a native of Lakeland, Fla., has played in 31 games with 15 career starts. He has totaled 70 tackles, 10 TFL and 3.5 sacks in his career.
Rodriguez, from Houston, is a fifth-year offensive lineman who has played in 20 games with four career starts. He was injured during preseason camp in 2017 and returned to start at left tackle in the Longhorns’ 33-16 victory over Missouri in the Texas Bowl.
Wheeler, a native of Dallas, is a fourth-year linebacker who has played in 36 games with 17 career starts. During his career he has registered 148 tackles, 9.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
–Steve Habel, Field Level Media