Celestin, Lingen, Smith Named 2017 Captains
Dec. 1, 2016

The 2016 season is not over yet, but head coach Tracy Claeys has announced his captains for the 2017 season. Leading the Gophers next season will be tight end Brandon Lingen, linebacker Jonathan Celestin and running back Rodney Smith. Lingen and Celestin will be seniors next season, while Smith will be a junior. The three were passed the captain's torch at the team banquet last Sunday. 

Lingen was named a captain for the 2016 season, but was limited to only three games because of injuries. The Minnesota native, caught three passes for 28 yards this season. For his career, he has played in 26 games and has made 38 catches for 474 yards and three touchdowns.

Celestin and Smith were teammates at Mundy's Mill High School in Jonesboro, Ga., and now are captains for the Gophers.

Celestin had a breakout year for the Gophers this season. He leads Minnesota with 79 tackles, which included 52 solo stops. He also notched seven tackles-for-loss, 2.5 sacks, broke up four passes and forced one fumble.

The Gophers were 8-1 this year when Smith scored a touchdown and his 1,477 all-purpose yards is the 15th most ever in a single season. He rushed for 1,084 yards and is second on the team in scoring with 96 points, which is the third most ever for an offensive skill player at Minnesota. Smith also finished second on the team in receiving with 22 catches for 187 yards.

 

 

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