Penn State Football Names Five Captains
As Penn State football’s 2015 Media Day wound down yesterday, the players voted and announced their captains for the upcoming season — Christian Hackenberg, Jordan Lucas, Angelo Mangiro, Von Walker, and Anthony Zettel.
Among the team’s two offensive captains is likely its most important player in the quarterback Hackenberg. The junior addressed the media and briefly spoke about the improvements he’s made from his sketchy previous season.
“There are a lot of ups and downs,” Hackenberg said. “You just have to learn from them and move forward. I try and make sure I’m focused on the task at hand, and I want to take those lessons and apply what I’ve learned from them.”
In front of Hackenberg is his projected starting center, Angelo Mangiro. He’ll be among four returning starters from last year’s offensive line and will be called upon to be one of the entire offense’s leaders.
On the other side of the ball are the other three captains. In the secondary is safety Jordan Lucas, who played corner for the first three years of his Penn State career but dropped back in the offseason to the enjoyment of coordinator Bob Shoop. Lucas was an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention in 2013 and his teammates put their faith in him as a captain for the 2015 season.
In front of Lucas is linebacker Von Walker. Walker has played at running back, safety, and kick returner at Penn State, but found his niche at the linebacker position. The former walk-on earned an athletic scholarship in the spring, with James Franklin proclaiming, “I’m not giving him shit, he’s earned this.”
Wrapping up the team’s official leadership is defensive tackle Anthony Zettel. The only player to be among the nation’s leaders in both sacks and interceptions, Zettel has had a huge offseason that has featured uprooting trees with his tackles and countless watch lists.
The departure of some of the greatest leaders in Penn State football’s recent history opens the door for more players to step up, and the team’s five new captains will be ready for that responsibility.
Photo: Steffen Blanco