Hoese, Kirksey, Royston, Weber Named Captains

Golden Gopher head football coach Tim Brewster announced the names of four University of Minnesota student-athletes who will serve as team captains for the 2010 season Monday.

Senior quarterback Adam Weber (Shoreview, Minn.) and senior fullback Jon Hoese (Glencoe, Minn.) will represent the offense. Meanwhile, senior defensive back Kim Royston (Minneapolis, Minn.) and junior defensive tackle Brandon Kirksey (St. Louis, Mo.) are the defensive captains. Three of the captains – Hoese, Royston and Weber – are native Minnesotans. The selections were made by a vote of the team, which was held Sunday night.

"The four young men our team selected to serve as captains are outstanding choices," Brewster said. "Adam, Kim, Jon and Brandon truly personify what it means to be a captain through leadership both on and off the field."

Weber is the only repeat selection. In fact, he is a three-time team captain. He is the only three-time captain in the history of the University of Minnesota football. A starter at quarterback in each of the past three seasons, Weber is Gophers' career record-holder for passing yardage, passing completions and passing attempts. He set the school single-season passing record with 2,895 yards as a freshman in 2007 and came back with the school's third-most passing yards in 2008 (2,761). He passed for 2,582 yards last season, which ranks No. 5 on the school's single-season charts. Weber also holds Minnesota records for single-season completions and touchdown passes, as well as most consecutive completions.

Hoese has made 10 starts at fullback over the past two seasons. He has appeared in 30 career games for the Gophers. Hoese has carried the ball 33 times and scored three touchdowns during his Minnesota career. None of his carries has ever resulted in a loss of yardage. Eleven of Hoese's 29 carries in 2009 resulted in either first downs or touchdowns. He is a two-time letterwinner.

Kirksey saw action in 22 games throughout his first two seasons with Minnesota. He recorded 16 tackles last season, doubling his total from his freshman season. Kirksey tallied a career-best five stops in the Sept. 19 game vs. California last season. He finished 2009 with three tackles for loss, two of which came against Cal. Kirksey made one of the biggest plays of 2009, forcing the fumble that Nate Triplett returned for the eventual game-winning touchdown in the TCF Bank Stadium opener vs. Air Force. He is a two-time letterwinner.

After sitting out the 2008 season following a transfer from Wisconsin, Royston finished third on the squad last season with 86 total tackles. A career- and game-high 15 of those stops came during the Insight Bowl vs. Iowa State on Dec. 31, where he also forced a fumble. Royston finished the season with double-digit tackle performances four times. He also turned in an interception last season, picking off a pass deep in Gopher territory late in the first half, as the Gophers defeated Northwestern. Royston earned his first Minnesota letter in 2009.

Minnesota's four captains will lead the Gophers into the 2010 season, which begins Sept. 2 at Middle Tennessee State. Kickoff for the clash with the Blue Raiders is set for 6:30 p.m. CT and the contest will air on ESPNU.

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