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Pitt coach names captains for 2011 season

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By John Grupp
Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011

Junior Tino Sunseri was named a team captain for the 2011 season, something coach Todd Graham said revealed a lot about his quarterback.

"I told Tino that if we had voted on that in the spring, I don't think that would have happened," Graham said.

Guard Chris Jacobson and wide receiver Mike Shanahan join Sunseri as offensive captains, while cornerback Antwuan Reed and safety Jarred Holley join nose tackle Myles Caragein on defense. Junior Andrew Taglianetti was named special teams captain.

Graham said the captains were selected based on input of selected players and coaches — "people that have merit" — and said it's not a popularity contest. Freshmen, for instance, weren't allowed to vote.

Caragein, Shanahan and Jacobson were unanimous choices.

"It's a great honor," Jacobson said. "All your teammates and peers look up to you and respect you. I'm thankful for that."

» Lucas Nix (6-foot-6, 310) and Jacobson (6-3, 295) are more than leaders. They form one of the best guard tandems in the Big East, if not the nation.

"It makes us a better football team," Graham said. "It makes us so much more sound from the inside out, having him and Jacobson at guard."

Nix, a fifth-year senior, had shuffled between tackle and guard on the right side.

"If you ask me personally, I do think he's a better guard than a tackle," Graham said, "and he's really good at both."

» Pitt has 14 seniors who will be beginning their final season Saturday against Buffalo. Some, like Wisconsin transfer Zach Brown, just got here. Others, like Caragein, Lindsey, Jacobson and Gibbs, are fifth-year seniors. The importance of their final season in careers without an outright Big East title or BCS Bowl is not lost on the veterans.

"We want to make it count," Jacobson said. "We have to do everything right every day."

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