Irish football coach Brian Kelly named offensive tackle Zack Martin, wide receiver TJ Jones and cornerback Bennett Jackson as Notre Dame's captains for the 2013 football season.
Martin becomes just the 18th player in Notre Dame history to serve as a football captain for two seasons.
“It is crazy to think about that there have only been a handful of guys, and to be a part of that, I probably don’t realize how special it is right now," Martin said Thursday at Irish Football Media Day. "I am sure I will down the road. It’s a great honor and I’m excited.”
TJ Jones is a 1st time captain who said he said "wow" when he heard the news.
“It means a lot--I have a lot of family ties to Notre Dame," said Jones, who's late father Andre played on the 1988 Irish national championship team. "Being able to represent my teammates, my family, the university as a whole on this level it’s an honor and I can’t thank my coaches enough.”
Andre Jones passed away a few years ago. TJ says if his father was still alive he'd be jumping for joy over the news and probably would have flown up to South Bend right now instead of waiting until next week for the season opener against Temple.
Cornerback Bennett Jackson is the lone defensive captain.
“I find it a great honor," Jackson said. "I’m glad that the coaches look at me as that connection from them to the team. At the end of the day I am still going to continue to do what I do. Play my role as a team player. In a time of need when you need to boost the team moral a little bit or get things going I am happy the team chose me to be that guy."
Quarterback Tommy Rees is not a captain, despite holding a 14-4 career record as a starting quarterback and being a senior. Rees, of course, also has an arrest from a year ago under his belt.
"There are so many things I look at when it comes to captains," Kelly explained when asked why Rees was not a captain. "It doesn't have to do with just being the quarterback and having a 14-4 record. That is a valid criteria, but I look at so many different things. I make gut instinct calls on guys. Tommy has got a lot on his plate being the quarterback at Notre Dame too."
"Its not going to change who I am," said Rees. "It's not going to change how I prepare. I'm still going to be a leader as a quarterback. Guys are still looking at you everyday. I don't get too much caught up in that kind of stuff."