Nittany Lions Elect Captains

Shipley, Lee and Gaines are voted to the leadership positions by their teammates. Lee earned the honor despite being forced to miss the 2008 season due to injury.

With spring practice in the books, the Penn State football program turned its attention to picking team captains Wednesday. The positions were voted on by the players and announced at a squad meeting in Lasch Building late in the afternoon, according to multiple sources.

The winners are all seniors.

On offense, center A.Q. Shipley got the nod. Heading into his third year as a starter, Shipley was a first-team All-Big Ten pick as a junior and has established himself as the vocal anchor not only of the line, but also of the entire offense.

Earlier in the week, several Pennsylvania media outlets announced that injured linebacker Sean Lee had been tabbed a captain by Penn State coach Joe Paterno. His teammates made it official Wednesday by voting him to the honor.

Lee would have been entering his third year as a starter. But he tore the ACL in his right knee late in the spring, and will miss the entire 2008 season. He has a redshirt available, though, and has already announced his intention to return for the 2009 campaign.

As such, Lee figures to become only the fourth two-time captain in Paterno's long head coaching career. Former Lee teammate Paul Posluszny as well as late 1960s standouts Mike Reid and Steve Smear were the others.

The final captain is defensive end Josh Gaines, another player who is going into his third year as a starter. A media favorite because of his outgoing personality, Gaines has had a solid on-field career to date, with 74 tackles and 6.5 sacks.


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