With less than a week until the college football season kicks off, the Trojans named their captains for the 2015 campaign on Saturday following a mock game at the Coliseum.
Five players were picked as captains: quarterback Cody Kessler and center Max Tuerk on the offensive side, and linebackers Su’a Cravens and Anthony Sarao and defensive tackle Antwaun Woods on the defensive side.
Three defensive players were chosen because the vote was so close.
“They are great representatives for our program, not only on the field but off the field in general,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said of the five captains. “We’re excited to have those guys lead our team.”
Kessler and Tuerk, who were also captains last season, are the 13th and 14th multiple-time captains in USC history. Cravens, Sarao and Woods will be serving their first seasons as captains.
Cravens, the lone junior to be granted captaincy, was grateful for the honor.
“It means a lot coming from the locker room with the team voting,” Cravens said. “I didn’t really expect to get it. I was surprised. As a team, we have a tight locker room, so it means a lot.”
One of the responsibilities the captains assume is taking freshmen under their wings, but this year’s incoming class makes the task a lot easier, according to Kessler.
“It’s been really cool that these guys don’t have egos,” Kessler said. “You normally get one or two guys here who think they’re better than everybody else. Every single guy I’ve worked with or talked to that’s a freshmen is so humble and so hungry. They just come out and work every day. Speaking for the captains, I have nothing to worry about with the freshmen.”
The same goes for for players coming up from junior college, who are quickly integrated into the Trojan lifestyle.
“It’s just the ’SC standard,” Sarao said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re [from junior college] or a freshman. ’SC has one standard — one way to play, one way to prepare — and that’s how we teach them.”