Aggie captains named

Six Utah State players have been selected to fill the role of captains for the Aggies during 2010 season. Here’s a press release from USU

Five of the six are seniors, as offensive captains will be senior quarterback Diondre Borel, senior offensive lineman Spencer Johnson and senior running back Michael Smith. Captaining the defense will be senior defensive lineman Sean Enesi, senior cornerback Chris Randle and junior linebacker Bobby Wagner.

“We as coaches went into the process thinking that we were only going to have four season captains with one rotating special teams captain. However, with the voting as close as it was and from the young men that were the top six showing their leadership all summer, we decided to go with six season captains,” said Andersen, who also announced that the special teams captain will be decided and announced on a week-by-week basis.

“Each one contributes in different ways individually on and off the field, but if you look at them as a whole, I think they are truly a group of tremendous young men. If we sat down as a coaching staff and picked out the six young men that we would want as team captains, these would be the six that we would come up with as well. They’ve done a great job of showing their leadership on and off, which is very important to this football team, to myself and the coaching staff.”

Borel enters his senior season with hopes of continuing last season’s breakout and record-setting year and continue his ascent up the USU record books. He also enters his senior season with six school records in his pocket, as he is the USU record holder for single-season total offense (3,343 yards, 2009), single-season rushing yards by a QB (632 in 2008), career rushing yards for a QB (1,098 yards, 2007-pres.), single-season fewest interceptions thrown (four in 2009), consecutive passes without an interception (228 in 2009) and single-game passing yards per completion (21.1 on 316 yards on 15 completions vs. Southern Utah, 2009).

“It’s a really good feeling to be named team captain again after being a team captain last year. I just have to lead the team,” Borel said. “As for the other captains, I’m excited for Michael Smith to get the opportunity to really step up and become a leader for the seniors. It’s his last year, and he’s building off the big impact he made last year. I’m also excited for Sean Enesi, who along with Bobby, Spencer and Chris all do a great job of being leaders on our team with their performance and actions both on the field and off.”

Wagner is a returning first-team all-WAC honoree, USU’s lone first-team selection last season. Last season, Wagner led the WAC with 115 tackles (53 solo, 62 assists), for a 9.6 tackles per game average. In WAC only games, he also topped the league with 71 total stops (35 solo, 36 assists) for an 8.9 pg average. He was also tied for 22nd in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Wagner added seven tackles for loss, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one pass break-up. The 115 tackles ranks as the second-most by a USU sophomore, as Johndale Carty holds the top spot with 138 stops as a sophomore in 1996.

“It’s a great honor and I take a lot of pride in being a leader,” Wagner said. “I’m ready to lead our defense. All of my fellow captains are all very worthy of this great honor, and I’m happy for all of them. I think they’re all great leaders and everyone on the team really looks up to them.”

Johnson started all 12 games at left tackle last season, giving him 31 career starts in playing all 36 games of his USU career. Johnson helped anchor a USU offense that set a school record for total offense with 5,272 yards, and also paved the way for a Utah State rushing attack that amassed 2,311 rushing yards. It was the first rushing total over 2,000 yards since 2,028 in 1975, and the most since 2,701 a year earlier in 1974. He also helped clear the way for USU running backs and quarterbacks to score 25 rushing TD’s, which are the fifth-most in school-history, while the 349 total points scored is No. 3 on the school record list, one of the top 15 marks in 14 different categories.

“I think it’s a terrific honor for the people on the team to think of me as one of their captains. I think I’ve earned their respect the same way that they’ve earned mine. I guess it goes to show that hard work and dedication can get you where you want to go. I don’t think of myself as a very vocal guy, I don’t really go out and yell much. I just go out and work hard to take care of business and lead by example. I’m very honored,” Johnson said.

Enesi registered 29 tackles including two tackles for loss and one forced fumble last season. He had at least five tackles in three games, highlighted by seven stops in the Texas A&M game as well as posting six stops against Nevada, while his forced fumble came in the season-opener at Utah.

“I was shocked that I was picked. I’ve been trying to lead our defensive line the best that I can. A couple guys told me that they voted for me, so I’m very honored. I’m ready to lead. I’m ready for the task. I’m not so much a vocal leader, but I lead by example, and I’m ready to be even more of a leader,” Enesi said. “Everyone leads their respective position groups, and they are leaders, not just for their positions, but the whole team as well. I’m excited to be working along side them as leaders of this team.”

Randle was tied for fourth on the team and second among defensive backs with 53 tackles (38 solo, 15 assists) last season. He registered a team-high seven pass break-ups, ranking sixth in the WAC. Randle was eighth overall in the league in passes defended with eight off seven pass break-ups and one interception, for a 0.58 passes defended per game average. He added two tackles for loss, one sack, a fumble recovery, a forced fumble and a blocked kick. Randle had a career-high three pass break-ups in the New Mexico State game while his lone interception of the season came in the home-opener against Southern Utah.

“It’s a tremendous honor and privilege. It goes to show that the whole team appreciates what I’m doing and what I bring in trying to make our team better. It’s a big honor for them to show their belief in me,” Randle said. “I feel the team did a good job of selecting the captains, all six of us have been here all summer working hard. We’re all dedicated and want to win, so all the captains are very respectable leaders and terrific players. They all have a competitive nature and the whole team recognizes that and wants to work hard day in and day out.”

Smith had 46 carries for 304 yards (6.3 ypc) with four rushing TD’s last season. Smith’s 6.3 ypc average would have ranked tied for third on USU’s single-season list but he did not have the minimum 100 carries to qualify. He also had 19 catches for 220 yards (11.6 ypc) and had two receiving TD’s. He added five kick returns for 109 yards (21.8 ypr) with a long of 29-yards. Smith’s top outing last season was against Southern Utah with eight carries for 100 yards (12.5 ypc) with two TD’s, adding two catches for 60 yards with a 54-yard TD catch, which came in the first quarter for his first USU TD and was his longest catch of season. The 100 rushing yards teamed with Robert Turbin’s 104 rushing yards for USU’s first running back tandem to both rush for 100 yards since 1989.

“It’s a very big honor. They voted for me, and they respect me. They feel I can fulfill the job, and I think I can fulfill the job. If I didn’t think I could do it, I would have stepped down and asked them not to vote for me to be team captain,” Smith said. “I’m ready to step up and be even more of a leader. I need to watch out for the younger guys and teach them the ropes, not just on the football field but with everything off the field as well. I need to be smart and set a good example for my teammates, and be positive for everyone.”

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