University of Louisville head football coach Bobby Petrino continuously stresses the importance of leadership, and that was noticeable as seven players were selected captains in a team vote on Saturday.
Junior quarterback Lamar Jackson, running back Reggie Bonnafon and offensive tackle Geron Christian, were selected to represent the offense, while cornerback Jaire Alexander and safety Chucky Williams were voted to guide the defense. Junior wide receiver Devante Peete and punter Mason King were selected special teams captains.
Voted a captain during his sophomore season last year, Jackson responded by becoming the youngest player to win the Heisman Trophy. He rushed for a school-best 1,571 yards and 21 touchdowns, while throwing for 3,543 yards and 30 touchdowns. He recorded a school-best eight 100-yard rushing games and set another mark with 5,114 yards of total offense.
A native of Louisville, Ky., Bonnafon has been moved to the running back position this year after also playing quarterback and wide receiver during his first three seasons. Playing most at wide receiver last year, Bonnafon recorded 13 receptions for 159 yards and five scores.
Christian, a two time all-ACC performer, has made 26-straight starts at offense tackle, helping the Cardinals rush for a school record 3,148 yards and 37 touchdowns last season.
On defense, Alexander has developed into one of the vocal leaders, but his play on the field has spoken the loudest. He led the team with five interceptions in 2016, including a pair versus Clemson and Virginia, while also registering 39 tackles in 13 starts.
A two-year starter at safety, Williams has been referred by his coaches as the quarterback of the defense, finishing third on the team with 74 tackles last season. He also registered three interceptions, while also recovering two fumbles.
Peete was named a special teams captain last season, and was one of the leaders on that unit with 10 tackles.
Taking over as the punter last season, King excelled by averaging a school-record 43.9 yards a punt and placing 16 punts inside the 20-yard line.
The Cardinals will open the season on Sept. 2 versus Purdue at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.
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