Buckeyes name five captains for 2012 campaign

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State announced today that John Simon, Zach Boren, Etienne Sabino, Garrett Goebel, and Jordan Hall will serve as the Buckeyes' captains for the upcoming 2012 season.

The five seniors are the first players to serve as captains under first-year Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.

"Announcing who are team captains is one of the great honors I get to do as head coach," Meyer said. "We had a number of guys get votes. This is a really good group of seniors who I am very proud to have leading this team."

Also named a captain for the 2011 season, Simon becomes the seventh two-time captain in program history. The last Buckeye to achieve such honor was linebacker James Laurinaitis, who served as an Ohio State captain in 2007 and 2008.

A fourth-year defensive end, Simon was named a captain by Meyer by the end of spring practice.

"Being named captain means a lot. I appreciate the votes of the players," Simon said. "This is one of the biggest honors a player can receive and I'll be proud to lead this team along with four other great guys. We'll have a really good season if we all lead well."

Meyer also jumped the gun on naming Boren a captain in a spring. Entering his fourth season as the Buckeyes' starting fullback, Boren has started in 27 games over the course of his Ohio State career and is expected to be featured in a special role in Meyer's spread offense.

"It is a dream come true and a huge honor to be named a captain at The Ohio State University," Boren said. "I am appreciative and thankful, and I look forward to being a leader on this team this season."

Entering his second season as a starter, Sabino is a fifth-year linebacker out of Dr. Krop high school in North Miami Beach, Fla. He's recorded 74 tackles over the course of his Ohio State career- 62 of which came in 2011.

"I am just really honored to be named a captain," Sabino said. "I'm really excited. This is such an honor."

Like Sabino, Goebel is also entering his fifth-year in Columbus. After not playing much in the first three seasons of his college career, the versatile defensive lineman started in all 13 of Ohio State's games a season ago, recording 33 tackles- six of which came for a loss.

"I'm excited. It is an honor that your teammates think that highly of you to name you a captain," Goebel said. "I'm going to put everything I have into this responsibility."

Meyer didn't see a captain in Hall when he arrived in Columbus in November of 2011, but the senior running back has undergone a transformation in just one offseason under his new coach.

"If you would have told somebody last fall that, by the way, Jordan Hall will be on Urban Meyer's leadership team," Meyer said. "But he's earned it."

After undergoing foot surgery in June, Hall is expected to miss at least the Buckeyes' first two games of the season. In the spring, he spent time playing the featured running back-wide receiver hybrid position in Meyer's offense.

"This is a dream come true. I was hoping to be named a captain but I was also a little surprised when it happened," Hall said. "I can't thank my teammates enough for selecting me for this honor."

Ranked No. 18 in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll, Ohio State wrapped up its first fall camp under Meyer on Friday and will take the field on Sept. 1 for its season opener against Miami (OH).