Crist, Hawkinson and Opurum Named Kansas Football Team Captains For 2012

April 24, 2012

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Following a team vote, Kansas football head coach Charlie Weis announced here today that seniors Dayne Crist, Tanner Hawkinson and Toben Opurumhad been appointed permanent team captains for the 2012 season. Crist and Hawkinson earned the honor for the first time in their Kansas careers, while Opurum served as a team captain during the 2011 campaign.

Crist, a quarterback from Canoga Park, Calif., is entering his first year with the KU program after transferring from Notre Dame in January. The former five-start prospect played three seasons and made 10 starts for Notre Dame from 2008-11. During his time with the Irish, he threw for 2,327 yards, with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions, while earning 10 starts. Upon arriving in Lawrence in January, Crist immediately gained the respect of his teammates with his knowledge of Weis’ offense on the field and his outgoing demeanor off it.

Hawkinson, a standout on the offensive line from McPherson, Kan., has started every game of his Jayhawk career. After spending time as a tight end and a defensive end during his redshirt season, Hawkinson was permanently moved to the offensive line where he has more than found a home. He earned Freshman All-America honors from both the Sporting News and playing at left tackle. Hawkinson was moved to right tackle during his junior season, garnering All-Big 12 Third Team honors by Phil Steele’s Midseason report. He has since returned to left tackle, where he will lead a veteran offensive line in his final season at KU.

Opurum, a defensive lineman from Richardson, Texas, is entering his third season on the defensive side of the ball after starting his Kansas career at running back. After leading the Jayhawks in rushing with 554 yards and nine TDs as a freshman, Opurum has since found his niche stopping the opposing team’s offense. He recorded 45 tackles as a junior, including a team-best 10.5 TFLs for minus 55 yards. Opurum also led the Kansas defense in 2011 with four sacks and seven quarterback hurries.

Weis also divulged that a fourth special teams captain would be named on a game-by-game basis based on the previous week’s performance.