The Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2020 football team officially has its captains, as a group of five seniors/graduate students were named to that title today.
Ian Book and Robert Hainsey join the short list of two-time ND football captains after serving as captains in 2019 alongside Julian Okwara, Alohi Gilman, Jalen Elliott, Khalid Kareem, and Chris Finke. They’ll be just the 23rd and 24th double-captains in the 131-year history of the program.
First-time selections as captain here include the starting defensive end duo of Daelin Hayes and Adetokunbo Ogundeji, as well as 6th-year DB Shaun Crawford.
Book and Hainsey were pretty obvious selections considering 2019, and Hayes was also a no-brainer after his leadership was on full display this summer.
Daelin Hayes looks every bit of a leader right here. A leader — not just a captain of a football team. pic.twitter.com/6wizpaWxk7— ALL ACC FIRST TEAM - ONE FOOT DOWN (@OneFootDown) June 19, 2020
Ogundeji is a nice addition, having been a high-upside three-star recruit who really came into his own last year and looks to be a terrifying force off the edge opposite of Hayes in 2020. It’s great to see that the defense, despite what it lost, will have leaders as bookends of the defensive line.
Furthermore, Crawford’s nomination as captain makes this one hell of a week for him, considering it was just announced over the holiday weekend that he won the starting safety spot next to Kyle Hamilton this summer.
His veteran leadership, with all the experience he’s gained and the adversity he’s overcome during tumultuous and injury-riddled Irish career, will be critical to keeping an otherwise young/new secondary in line this season.
Overall, no huge surprises here and some very nice choices — this group seems well-equipped to lead the team into one of the wackiest and weirdest seasons in which Notre Dame will likely ever participate.