Illini name team captains for 2016

Lovie Smith announced his team captains on Tuesday

CHAMPAIGN - Following a team vote, Illinois football officially named four seniors as year-long team captains: quarterback Wes Lunt, center Joseph Spencer, defensive end Dawuane Smoot and linebacker Hardy Nickerson.

The previous Illini staff named different captains for each game week throughout the season.

Nickerson, the son of Illini defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson, arrived at Illinois during the summer as a graduate transfer from California-Berkeley. He was a team captain for the Bears last season. Lunt, entering his third season as a starter, was a game week captain four times last season.

Spencer has the second most career starts (26) of any returning Illini, behind only senior safety Taylor Barton (29).

Smoot, who had more sacks last season than any returning Big Ten player, was a captain for one game last season.


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