Friday evening following Purdue's final practice prior to Saturday's spring game, an eclectic group of six captains were tabbed to lead the Boilermakers into 2012.
"There were some surprises," Coach Danny Hope said, "and there were some that were obvious."
On a team with three upperclassman quarterbacks who've started for Purdue, senior Caleb TerBush was named a captain.
Captain positions are chosen by a team vote.
TerBush started every game at QB for Purdue in 2012, but is competing with senior classmate and one-time starter Robert Marve and junior one-time starter Rob Henry to maintain the nod. Henry was a captain last season and will be an "honorary captain" this season after receiving many votes.
The captaincy nod would seem like a strong entry to TerBush's résumé to be starter once again in 2012, as if starting 13 games as a junior weren't enough.
"You can't slack off," TerBush said. "You definitely have to keep pushing forward. It's good, something I can take on my back and move forward with. It's positive motivation, just like us winning the bowl game."
In just his second season in the program, running back Akeem Shavers was named a captain; in his second season in an extensive playing role, tight end Crosby Wright - a former walk-on who's now a starter and one of the team's foremost success stories - was as well.
Both Shavers and Wright are known to be consistently positive personalities, certainly a trait that lends itself well to leadership.
"I'd like to think so," Shavers said. "You can do anything you put your mind to. That's just the type of attitude I try to have about everything and I try to help everybody else have that same attitude. I guess it's rubbed off on some people."
The team's two top vote-getters, Hope said, came on defense, where defensive tackle Kawann Short is Purdue's lone returning captain from 2011.
"I thought he really embraced that role last season," Hope said, "particularly in the second half of the season."
And cornerback Ricardo Allen, to the surprise of no one, moves into the role, as well.
On special teams, sophomore return man Raheem Mostert, who wasn't even on campus this time a year ago, was named a captain.
"I take it as a huge compliment," Mostert said. "It really boosts my confidence.
"You can't slack. If you want to be a leader, you have to work to maintain that position. I'm going to work hard each and every day."
Henry will be joined in "honorary captain" roles by center Rick Schmeig, wide receiver Tommie Thomas, corner Josh Johnson, defensive end Robert Maci, punter Cody Webster, and DB/special-teamer Chris Quinn.
"We can't have enough leadership on this football team," Hope said.
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