Eight captains named for 13

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- It may have taken longer than usual, but for Ohio State's 2013 captains, the process was well worth the wait.
Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer announced on Tuesday night that Jack Mewhort, Christian Bryant, C.J. Barnett, Kenny Guiton, Corey Linsley, Corey Brown, Braxton Miller, and Ryan Shazier will represent Ohio State as the team's captains for the upcoming season. Meyer's announcement comes with fewer than four days remaining until the Buckeyes' season-opening battle with Buffalo this Saturday, and with the caveat that the official captains for the team will be named at the end of the season.
"It's the first time I've done something like this," Meyer said in a statement. "We had eight individuals receive a lot of votes, and all were within 12 votes of each other. So they'll lead us into each game as captains and at the end of the year a decision will be made as to who will be the season's captains."
Named a leader by Meyer since the start of the offseason, Mewhort's inclusion on the captains' list isn't a surprise, after his head coach called upon him to be the "heart and soul" of this year's OSU squad, like John Simon was for last year's.
"We're asking him to take over a position that maybe a Simon took and that's the overall heart," Meyer said of his starting left tackle. "I mean, I love him. He's a tough guy."
The inclusion of Bryant and Barnett -- the Buckeyes' two starting safeties -- also isn't a surprise. The defensive backfield duo have been praised throughout the offseason for their leadership abilities and presence on a defense replacing seven starters from a season ago.
"It's really important that they show leadership, not just in the defense room but throughout our football team -- that they help us with our young guys," safeties coach Everett Withers said. "The Ohio State way, they know it."
A fifth-year center from Youngstown, Ohio, Linsley has also beed lauded for his maturity and experience on the OSU offense, as has Brown, the Buckeyes' leading wide receiver in 2012. Somewhat of a surprise, however, is the inclusion of Guiton, the team's backup quarterback who led game-tying and winning drives in last season's overtime win over Purdue.
Despite his status as a reserve, the OSU coaching staff has spoken highly of Guiton throughout the offseason leading up to his senior year.
"He's a rock in my meeting room," Buckeyes offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said. "I know I've been a lot of places throughout my career that we would've been doing jumping jacks and cartwheels down the country if he was our starting quarterback."
Guiton isn't the only OSU quarterback to be named a captain on Tuesday, as Miller, the team's starter, also received the honor. Despite being a junior, Miller has earned the right to be called a captain this season through his leadership, as has his classmate in Shazier.
"The thing that you're really going to see is Ryan, a guy that has to provide a lot of things for us," linebackers coach and defensive coordinator Luke Fickell said. "He's become what I like to say is a linebacker."