Ohio State Names Seven Captains for the 2020 Season
The Ohio State Buckeyes announced on Tuesday that the team has selected seven captains this season. They are:
- Wyatt Davis (redshirt junior guard)
- Tuf Borland (fifth year senior linebacker)
- Shaun Wade (redshirt junior)
- Justin Hilliard (senior linebacker)
- Justin Fields (junior quarterback)
- Jonathon Cooper (fifth year senior defensive end)
- Josh Myers (redshirt junior)
"Our players are training at a championship level right now," head coach Ryan Day told the media. "Our players and coaches have been doing an excellent job taking care of themselves and their health … we are holding each other accountable … our testing policies and procedures have allowed our players, staff and coaches to have confidence … we have a great environment … only way any of this is possible is because of the tremendous leadership of our team ... our team voted for captains yesterday and I am really proud to announce the captains of this year's team."
Borland's selection as captain is especially significant. He joins former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett as just the second three-time captain in program history. Borland is the leader of the defense as the starting middle linebacker. He's started more games (34) than any Ohio State player on the roster entering the season.
Cooper is also a returning captain after he unexpectedly received a redshirt for an ankle injury last year. Cooper has played 37 games as a Buckeye and will lead a defensive line that saw Chase Young leave for the NFL and three fifth-year seniors graduate.
C.J. Saunders was set to be a returning captain for the Buckeyes, but head coach Ryan Day informed the media that his sixth year of eligibility request was denied by the NCAA. Day said Saunders will join the coaching staff this season.
Davis, Fields, Hilliard, Myers and Wade are all first-time captains.
Justin Fields became a focal point of the Ohio State offense last year as he led the team to the College Football Playoff. Fields was a Heisman finalist and was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. Josh Myers and Wyatt Davis were a huge part of Fields' success, anchoring an offensive line that was a finalist for the Joe Moore Award last year.
Wade is the next in line of Ohio State star cornerbacks, but he's the only returning starter in the secondary. He is a projected first round NFL draft pick and is on just about every defensive watch list for national awards this year, but his role on the team is that much more important as a captain as he leads the defensive through a period of great uncertainty.
"I take a lot of pride in being named a captain," Wade said. "I'm kind of a different cat, I'm not really a vocal leader. I just like to go out there and work hard. I really appreciate that the guys selected me and I'm looking forward to the season."
Hilliard has been with the program longer than any other player on the roster. His teammates revere him for the way he has dealt with a number of tough blows throughout his injury-plagued career.