Northern Michigan University head football coach Chris Ostrowsky announced Monday that junior running back Wyatt Jurasin, junior linebacker Levi Perry, senior defensive lineman Trever Kruzel and senior wide receiver Marcus Tucker have been elected captains for the 2014 season by a vote of their teammates.
"All four are great ambassadors for our program and I am excited to see them lead this group of players this season," commented Ostrowsky.
Jurasin, a criminal justice major from Marquette, led the Wildcats in rushing last season. Jurasin rushed for 545 yards on 145 carries averaging 3.8 yards per carry with five touchdowns. He also had 10 catches for 93 receiving yards after appearing in all 10 games last season.
"It is a huge honor to be a captain on this team. I think it means a lot," said Jurasin. "I want to help these young guys be the best they can and lead this team to a national championship, which is our goal. We have so much talent on or team this year and it is the most talent I have seen during my time at NMU. We are coming together so well and it is only the fifth practice. People are flying around practices at an outrageous tempo, Coach O is pushing us to the limit and everyone is giving back what coach is asking for. I am extremely proud of my teammates and I cannot wait to open the season with them."
Perry, who is making the move from defensive back to linebacker this year, is a native of Northville, Michigan and a construction management major. Perry appeared in all 10 games last season and was ranked third on the team with 62 tackles including 32 solo hits. He also had an interception and fumble recover in the season opener against Findlay.
"I feel like whenever a large group of guys select you as one of four guys to lead them it is a crazy big honor," said Perry. "It was overwhelming when I found out that they chosen me and the other guys to lead them into battle. It is a pretty big deal for me. I feel like the team is coming together great. We are about halfway through camp and from last year it is a big difference. The atmosphere is exciting. It is an honor to go out there with my brothers and compete. It is apparent and you can see how hard everyone is working."
Kruzel, a Boyne City, Michigan native and entrepreneurship major, was fifth on the team last season with 47 tackles. Kruzel was second on the squad with four sacks and led the team with 75 tackles for loss. He also returned a fumbles eight yards for a touchdown against Wayne State in a 33-21 victory.
"It is a huge honor to be named captain. As a freshman it was something I never thought I would be able to accomplish," said Kruzel. "It is great to be seen at the same level with the other players that are chosen to lead this team and to help them accomplish the goals we have set. We have a really talented group of guys with the new guys and returners. It is an honor to lead those new guys as they develop into great NMU players."
Tucker is the Wildcats top receiver from a year ago. He is a native of Flint, Michigan and is majoring in criminal justice. Tucker racked up 674 yards on 49 catches last season while scoring four touchdowns. Broke 100 yards receiving against Ohio Dominican (127) and Grand Valley State (111).
"It is a big honor to be chosen a captain for our team. I can see the vision in which the program is trying to go and we are really trying as a group of captains to entrench ourselves in that vision and are working towards leading our team to a championship and leading NMU to the place it should be," said Tucker. "I am extremely humbled and honored to be chosen as a captain and we have a great team and group of captains with us to lead the way. Those guys are great football players and great men, it is an honor to call them brothers and friends."
NMU returns 18 starters from last season, nine on offense, eight on defense and one specialist and open their season at home against Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference foe Northwood at 7 p.m. Sept. 6.
They also host Michigan Tech for homecoming on Sept. 27, Wayne State on Oct. 18, Walsh Nov. 1 and Findlay on Nov. 15. NMU travels to play at Quincy Sept. 13, Hillsdale, Sept. 20, Saginaw Valley State Oct. 4, Malone Oct. 11, Ashland Oct. 25 and Ferris State Nov. 18.
Single game and season tickets are on sale now. For ticket information call the Superior Dome Ticket office at 906-227-1032 or visit www.nmu.edu/tickets.