LOOMINGTON, Ind. - Senior running back Marcus Thigpen, senior cornerback Christopher Phillips and junior linebacker Will Patterson will serve as team captains in 2008, Indiana head football coach Bill Lynch announced on Sunday. The three were voted into the positions by their teammates.
"Marcus, Christopher and Will have earned the respect of their teammates and will do a tremendous job as captains this year," Lynch said. "We could not ask for three better people to represent our football program both on and off the field."
Thigpen enters his third year as the team's starting running back and kick returner. He rushed for 568 yards on 138 carries, good for a 4.1 average, and averaged 22.9 yards per kick return on 18 opportunities last season. The Detroit native finished third in Big Ten games only with a 24.9 kick return average. Thigpen hauled in 21 passes for 181 yards (8.6 average) with three touchdowns. He also led the team with 1,162 all-purpose yards, good for a 96.8 average, and ranked eighth in Big Ten games only, averaging 100 all-purpose yards per game.
Phillips locked down one of the starting cornerback positions during preseason camp. He played in 12 of the team's 13 games last year, picking off three passes to bring his career total to four. The Atlanta native became the fourth player in Indiana history with two career interception returns for scores with his 58-yarder against Ball State on Nov. 3.
Patterson finished second on the team with 104 tackles, including 59 solo stops in 2007. He led the team with three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Patterson closed the season 11th in the Big Ten in tackles, second in fumbles recovered and seventh in forced fumbles. In league games only, he finished sixth in tackles and second in forced fumbles.