Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Weis names three new Jayhawks captains
By ESPN.com staff
Kansas conclude its spring session on Saturday, but coach Charlie Weis has seen enough.
He opened up a vote to his new team, which elected three captains: Quarterback Dayne Crist, offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson and defensive lineman Toben Opurum.
A fourth, special-teams captain will be named before each game in the fall.
"I don’t think it’s fair for a guy coming in, in June to be able to be picked a captain. They have not paid the price that these guys have paid since (Scott) Holsopple started the weight program in January," Weis told reporters Tuesday. "Now is the time that I need the leadership. I don’t need it in June, I need it now, when the coaches are on the road recruiting and when I am flying from place to place to speak at luncheons and dinners. I need veteran guidance for these players to make sure there is somebody there saying, ‘Hey, don’t do that’, or ‘Why would you do this?’"
There's no surprise in any of the three being named, but Crist's and Opurum's stories are unique. Hawkinson has been one of the team's best and most consistent linemen for each of his three seasons on campus.
Opurum led the team in rushing in 2009 before coach Turner Gill moved him to the defensive line. He picked up his new position late in the season and was named a captain for 2011.
Crist spent four seasons at Notre Dame but was benched early in 2011. He transferred at the end of the season and rejoined his former coach, Weis. Teammates have already labeled Crist as a go-to guy for questions about Weis' system and coaching style.