AUSTIN, Texas — With a week to go until the Texas football team kicks off the 2018 season by facing the Maryland Terrapins at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., UT head coach Tom Herman and his staff are finalizing some of the details in preparation for the season opener.
One of those steps was the announcement of this season’s Longhorn captains: tight end Andrew Beck, defensive end Breckyn Hager, defensive tackle Chris Nelson, offensive tackle Elijah Rodriguez and linebacker Anthony Wheeler.
For Beck, the honor comes for the second time in as many years, as he was a captain on the 2017 team despite missing the entire year because of an injury. Already armed with a degree in corporate communications, the fifth-year tight end from Tampa, Florida has started 16 of the 37 games in which he has played for the Longhorns. He has 12 receptions for 159 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and is on the watch list for the John Mackey Award, which is given annually to the nation’s premier tight end.
Hager has started nine of the 34 games in which he has played. In his first three seasons in Austin, he has compiled 105 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks, along with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. The 2017 honorable mention All-Big 12 honoree is on the 2018 watch list for the Bednarik Award, which is given each year by the Maxwell Football Club to the nation’s top defensive player.
Having already earned his degree in youth & community studies, Nelson has started 15 of the 31 games in which he has played for the Longhorns. A first-team Academic All-Big 12 honoree and a two-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, Nelson has 70 career tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in his career.
A 2018 graduate with a degree in physical culture & sports, Rodriguez has played in 20 games for Texas, starting four. A year ago, he was injured during preseason camp, but he returned to start at left tackle against Missouri in the Texas Bowl.
With 17 starts in 36 career games, Wheeler is a four-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll. During his career he has 148 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three sacks, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.