University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino brought back an old tradition to the Cardinals' football program.
For the first time since the 2009 season, U of L has named team captains for the coming season. Petrino named defensive standouts Charles Gaines, Lorenzo Mauldin and Sheldon Rankins, while also tabbing offensive players Jake Smith and Will Gardner as the team captains.
"Announcing who are team captains is one of the great honors I get to do as head coach," Petrino said in a release. "I think these guys are tremendous leaders for our program and am excited that they will be the guys leading our team in our first season in the ACC."
Gardner is expected to be the starter for the Cardinals at quarterback this season, while Smith has started 38 games during his career, including all 13 last season for U of L.
"It means a lot to me when your teammates trust you enough to make you a captain,” Gardner said. “I’m glad they believe in my leadership abilities and I’m going to work hard to be a great leader for this football team.”
Mauldin was a second-team All-Conference selection last season and has moved to outside linebacker under the new staff.
"I was chosen to be a captain by my teammates because they believed that I can help lead them reach our goals this season," Mauldin said. "I’m truly honored to be selected."
Rankins played in 10 games last season and is a key performer on the line, while Gaines is considered one of the top cornerbacks in the country this coming season.
The five have combined for 120 games played and 71 starts.
In Petrino’s final year with the Cardinals in 2006 he named six captains in Brian Brohm, Michael Bush, Kurt Quarterman, Amombi Okoye, William Gay and Nate Harris.
U of L plays host to Miami on Sept. 1.