Michigan football players vote seniors Kevin Koger, David Molk, Mike Martin as their captains
Michigan football coach Brady Hoke has emphasized during fall camp the role senior leadership would play in the Wolverines successfully bridging coaching regimes.
On Sunday, his players responded by voting three seniors as their captains: Tight end Kevin Koger, center David Molk and nose tackle Mike Martin.
“The entire senior class has shown great leadership since the spring, and they all are looked up to as leaders of this football team,” Hoke said in a statement released by the school. “Kevin, David and Mike are great representatives for our team and the University of Michigan. I will be honored to be led out of the tunnel by them and the rest of the seniors on the Saturdays ahead.”
Michigan opens its season Saturday against Western Michigan (3:30 p.m., ABC).
Koger has started 19 career games, including every game last year, when he had 14 catches for 199 yards and two touchdowns. He's expected to play a greater role in the offense this year as tight ends become accentuated in the new pro-style offense.
The Toledo, Ohio, native has been singled out by Hoke this fall as one of the team's strongest leaders.
"Spend a half hour with him and just meet him," Hoke said at the team's media day earlier this month. "His selflessness that you have to have and the sacrifice he'll give to this team (will stand out)."
Molk is a fifth-year senior who arrived in Ann Arbor to play for former coach Lloyd Carr. After battling an injury for much of 2009, the Lemont, Ill., native came back last year to start every game and was one of the country's best centers.
He was named first-team all-Big Ten by the coaches and second team by the media, and was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy, which is given to the nation's top center.
Martin is the defense's representative among the captains, and was instrumental to Michigan's development this summer. The Redford native was one of the key figures who helped organize player-led workouts.
He started 12 games last year, accumulating 37 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He has 108 career tackles.
This is the first time since 2007 — Carr's final season — that Michigan will have three captains. It had two last year and four in 2008 and 2009.
Koger, Martin and Molk are returning starters who already have earned back their jobs this fall. Hoke said he hopes to finish off his two-deep roster by Monday.