Horrocks, Goff and Williams named Captains

NASHVILLE-- Three key contributing seniors for the Vanderbilt football team – linebacker Jonathan Goff, offensive tackle Chris Williams and defensive tackle Theo Horrocks – will serve as team captains for the Commodores next season.

Vanderbilt Head Coach Bobby Johnson announced Goff, Williams and Horrocks as 2007 co-captains at a gathering of Commodore players, parents and families after the Black & Gold Scrimmage Saturday on campus.

"I'm thrilled because these three young men have given so much to our football team and are very deserving captains," Johnson said. "All three of them have outstanding work ethic and a huge desire for Vanderbilt to win, but they also share in a willingness to work for that result. Jonathan, Chris and Theo will make great leaders for our football team."

The trio was selected by a vote of their teammates.

Goff, an All-Southeastern Conference linebacker and one of the nation's leading tacklers from Lynn, Mass., will serve his second season as captain. Williams, a product of Glynn, La., and Horrocks, from Fayetteville, Tenn., will serve as co-captains for the first time.

"It's a great honor to be elected again by my teammates. I'm really appreciative of the support from my teammates and coaches, and hope to serve as an outstanding leader for this football team," Goff said.

A product of St. John's Prep in Boston, Mass., Goff has been a leading cog for the Vanderbilt defense after winning a starting role three years ago. He enters the 2007 season having started 28 consecutive games, most of any Commodore.

Goff also returns as Vanderbilt's leading tackler, and one of the SEC's top active tacklers. A second-team All-SEC pick by the coaches last year, Goff ranks third among all SEC defenders with 141 solo tackles and 194 career tackles. He topped the Commodores with 93 total tackles and ranked among the team leaders in numerous other defensive categories as a 2006 captain.

Williams has started 21 consecutive games as a stalwart at left tackle, responsible for protecting the blindside of Commodore quarterbacks. In 2006, Williams allowed just one sack while earning All-SEC honors from the coaches. Williams' election as captain by teammates shows how far the Louisiana resident has developed since arriving on campus as a 245-pound prospect. Now, Williams stands 6-7, weighs 320 pounds, and has the talent to become of the finest offensive linemen in Commodore history.

"It's a complete 180-degree turn from where I was early on. I'm proud, and very thankful to my teammates. It says that they believe in me, believe in my abilities, and believe that I can be a leader for this team," Williams said.

Horrocks came to Vanderbilt as the less regarded of two commitments from Lincoln County High School. Despite the lack of fanfare, Horrocks earned playing time at defensive end as a freshman. Horrocks moved into the Commodore starting defensive unit as a sophomore after moving to tackle. Horrocks has 22 career starts and is coming off his best year, having established career highs in tackles, tackles for loss, sacks, quarterback hurries and forced fumbles in 2006.

"I never expected it, but it's a honor and privilege," Horrocks said. "To be named captain means a great deal to me. To know that my teammates think enough of me to be one of their representatives is very important to me."

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