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Press releaseLOGAN -- Utah State football head coach Gary Andersen announced the Aggies' 2009 captains on Monday, after a vote by the team.
All three of the defensive captains are seniors, while the offensive captains consist of a senior, a junior and a sophomore. Representing the defense will be the senior trio of safety James Brindley, linebacker Paul Igboeli and cornerback Kejon Murphy. The offensive captains are senior center Brennan McFadden, junior quarterback Diondre Borel and sophomore running back Robert Turbin.
"The team voted for their captains," Andersen said. "I think they did a good job of picking six quality student-athletes to be their captains."
Brindley, a native of Grass Valley, Calif. (Nevada Union HS), enters his senior season ranked No. 2 on USU's career interception return list with 186 yards on six interceptions. Last season, Brindley had three interceptions, which led USU and was tied for eighth in the WAC along with tied for 96th in NCAA. He also made 75 tackles (44 solo, 31 assists), which was third for USU and tops for an Aggie defensive back, ranking 14th in the WAC statistics.
"It feels really good knowing the players respect you," Brindley said. "I just have to keep doing what I've been doing to earn this responsibility, working hard and doing my job."
Igboeli, a Grand Prairie, Texas (South Grand Prairie HS) native, was named to several preseason all-Western Athletic Conference teams. Igboeli was also named to the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, an award honoring the nation's top college football lineman who, in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the discipline of Vince Lombardi.
Igboeli tallied 78 tackles (42 solo, 36 assists) in 2008, ranking second on the team, as well as 12th in the WAC. He also had six tackles for loss, four pass break-ups, two fumble recoveries, an interception and a blocked field goal. Igboeli is closing in on the USU and WAC career tackles top 10 lists, as he enters his senior season with 242 stops. He needs 85 tackles to tie Al Smith (1984-86) for No. 10 on the Aggies' career list, as well as needing 63 stops to tie Bryce McGill (1999-2003) from Fresno State.
"It feels great to be named team captain my senior year," Igboeli said. "I was team captain after my freshman year, but it feels good to be back as team captain. I just want to do the best I can to be a good leader and lead my team into a lot of victories this season."
Murphy, a native of Fresno, Calif. (Edison HS), ranked 10th overall on the team and fourth among defensive backs last season with 30 tackles (19 solo, 11 assists). Murphy added 1.5 tackles for loss (4 yards), and he also had two interceptions and two pass break-ups.
"Being team captain brings a big responsibility. To live up to the team's expectations, you can't take a day off," Murphy said. "It feels great to be selected as team captain, especially to have my teammates nominate me. I've been working really hard and I guess they see something special in me, so now I've just got to put in the extra work to continue to be a good leader."
McFadden, also a native of Grass Valley, Calif. (Nevada Union HS), who earned second-team all-WAC honors last season after starting the first seven games of the season at right guard before moving to the center position.
"This is a really big honor. For my teammates to vote and select me means a lot to me. I've been working hard this offseason to make sure that not just me but our whole team, especially the seniors, have a great season. I'm just honored to represent the team," McFadden said.
Borel, an Oakley, Calif. (Freedom HS), native, started the final nine games of 2008 and led the team with 1,705 passing yards and 632 rushing yards, while throwing for 11 TDs and rushing for five more. Borel was one of seven quarterbacks in the entire country to lead their respective teams in both rushing and passing.
"It feels really good to be named team captain. I'm a little bit shy, so I told them not to vote for me, but they did," Borel said. "It's a great feeling. It means I'm looked at as a team leader. As a junior, it's an honor to be selected by the younger guys and the older guys, since it's all seniors except myself and Robert Turbin, so it's a great feeling to be selected by everybody."
Turbin is a native of Fremont, Calif. (Irvington HS), who rushed for 485 yards last year, scored a team-high eight touchdowns, and averaged 4.6 yards per carry. Turbin also was fourth on the team in receiving yards with 256 on 20 catches with two TD's.
"It feels great to be recognized as a team leader and to know that you have younger guys and older guys who look up to you. When you have something to say, they take it and listen to you. It's a tremendous honor to be a team captain for a Division I football team," Turbin said.
The Aggies open the 2009 season against Utah on Thursday, Sept. 3. After a bye and a road game at Texas A&M on Saturday, Sept. 19, USU hosts in-state foe Southern Utah in the Aggies' home opener on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m.
Andersen and the Aggies return a WAC-leading 19 total starters, including a conference-best 10 on offense, as well as seven on defense and two kickers. Those 19 starters are part of 48 returning lettermen from last season's 3-9 team. Last year was the first time since 2005 that the Aggies had three wins in a season and USU's 3-5 WAC record was its best in its four seasons in the league. It was also the first time since 2003 that USU has won three conference games and just the third time in the 2000's (2000: 4-1 Big West; 2003: 3-4 Big West; 2008: 3-5 WAC).
For season and single-game ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305, or online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the "buy/renew tickets" under the "tickets" drop down menu.
(Courtesy of USU media relations)