Kentucky Football elects eight team captains for 2021 season

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – Kentucky head football coach Mark Stoops has announced eight Wildcats – including six seniors – as team captains for the 2021 football campaign. Senior defensive end Josh Paschal becomes the first player in school history to be elected team captain three straight seasons.

Along with Paschal, the team’s permanent season captains include returning captains Josh Ali, Yusuf Corker, DeAndre Square, and first-time captains Luke Fortner, Marquan McCall, Will Levis and Chris Rodriguez Jr.

The captains:
Josh Ali, Senior, WR
Ali, a 6-0, 190-pound wide receiver and punt returner from Hollywood, Florida, is a four-year letter winner taking advantage of the NCAA’s extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19. He has played in 45 career games, starting 24 in a row. As a specialist, Ali has been UK’s top punt returner the last two seasons, combining for 20 punt returns for 150 yards.

Ali graduated in May with a degree in community and leadership development and is currently working on second degree in communication.

Ali was also elected a team captain in 2020.

Yusuf Corker, Senior, DB
Corker, a 6-0, 204-pounder from McDonough, Georgia, has played in 37 career games with 24 straight starting nods at safety. As a junior in 2020, he finished second on the team in tackles (77) behind NFL first-round draft pick Jamin Davis. He also added 2.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, two pass breakups and a forced fumble.

He earned preseason third-team All-SEC honors by the media and Athlon Sports and got a preseason second-team nod by Phil Steele. Corker also is a nominee for the Lott IMPACT Trophy which is presented annually to the college football defensive IMPACT player of the year.

Off the field, Corker was named to the Dean’s List and the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll in 2020. He graduated in May with a degree in economics and is currently working on a second degree in communication.

Corker was also elected a team captain in 2020.

Luke Fortner, Senior, OL
Fortner, a four-year letter winner from Sylvania, Ohio, returns to the “Big Blue Wall” after taking advantage of the NCAA’s extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19. He enters the 2021 season having seen action in 42 career games with 23 consecutive starts at right guard. In 2020, he graded out at 82.9 percent in 10 games played with 26 knockdowns and 146 blocks at the point of attack.

The 6-6, 297-pounder graduated in December of 2019 with a degree in mechanical engineering and is currently finishing his master’s degree in mechanical engineering with plans to graduate in December. On top of that, Fortner is also working on his master’s degree in business administration at UK’s prestigious Gatton College of Business and Economics. He is on track to graduate with his MBA in May of 2022. He was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team and earned preseason third-team All-SEC honors by the league’s media and Athlon Sports.

Will Levis, Junior, QB
Levis, a 6-foot-3, 232-pounder who transferred from Penn State has immediately earned the trust of his teammates and coaching staff. He was announced as the starter on August 15, one day following the first scrimmage. In 15 career games at Penn State, Levis completed 61-of-102 passes (59.8) for 644 yards and three scores, with just two interceptions. Often used as a running quarterback, he also had 133 carries for 473 yards and six touchdowns. His 473 career rushing yards rank 10th all-time by a Penn State quarterback.

Marquan McCall, Senior, NG
McCall, 6-3, 357-pound from Detroit, has played in 31 games in his career, including 10 last season at nose guard. He earned starting assignments vs. Missouri, Georgia and South Carolina and went on to total 22 tackles, a tackle for loss, a fumble recovery and a half-sack in his junior season.

Josh Paschal, Senior, DE
Paschal, a 6-3, 275-pounder from Prince George’s County, Maryland, moved from linebacker to defensive end prior to the 2020 season and immediately became a stalwart on the line. He was named fourth-team All-SEC by Phil Steele’s Football Magazine and All-SEC Honorable Mention by Pro Football Focus in 2020 after totaling 32 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one quarterback hurry and one interception in 11 games. As a leader on and off the field, Paschal has been elected team captain twice (2019 and 2020) and has been UK football’s representative for the NCAA’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the SEC Leadership Council the past two seasons. He also was named a semifinalist for the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year award last season and was a SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll member.

This season, his accolades include being named a preseason second-team All-SEC choice by Athlon Sports and the media, and earning a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team. He’s also on the watch list for the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Paschal graduated in May of 2021 with a degree in family science and a minor in health promotion and is currently working on a second degree in communication.

This is the third straight season Paschal has been elected a team captain.

Chris Rodriguez Jr., Junior, RB
Rodriguez, a 5-11, 224-pounder from McDonough, Georgia, led the Cats in rushing in 2020 with 785 yards and 11 touchdowns despite missing two games due to COVID-19 protocols. The power back had four 100-yard rushing games, including three of the final four games for which he was available, and was nearly impossible to bring down. He totaled 105 consecutive carries without being tackled behind the line of scrimmage and gained positive yardage on 116 of his 119 total attempts. He delivered a career-best 149 yards vs. Vanderbilt on Nov. 14 and led the SEC in yards per attempt at 6.6. Overall, he ranked fifth in the SEC in rushing yards per game (87.2), earning him first-team All-SEC accolades by Pro Football Focus and fourth-team All-SEC honors from Phil Steele. Rodriguez currently has 1,361 career rushing yards, good for 27th place in school history.

He has been compiling an extensive list of preseason honors this season, including being named to both the Maxwell Trophy Watch List (nation’s most outstanding player) and the Doak Walker Award Watch List (nation’s top running back). He’s also been named preseason second-team All-SEC by Athlon Sports and the media, preseason third-team All-SEC by Phil Steele and preseason All-America honorable mention by Pro Football Focus.

DeAndre Square, Senior, LB
Square, a 6-1, 221-pound inside linebacker also from Detroit, has played in 36 career games with 22 starting assignments, including 10 starts as a junior last season. The team captain in 2020 was third on the team in total tackles with 60, second on the team with four quarterback hurries and also charted 2.5 tackles for loss, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery.

Square was also elected a team captain in 2020.

The Wildcats kick off the season Saturday, Sept. 4 against the ULM Warhawks in Kroger Field. The game begins at noon ET on SEC Network.

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Kentucky Football Captains All-Time
1891: John Bryan
1892: Ed Hodby
1893: Ulysses Garred
1894: George Carey
1895: Smith Alford
1896: Walter Duncan
1897: Roscoe Severs
1898: Roscoe Severs
1899: A.S. Reese
1900: Wellington Scot
1901: L.W. Martin
1902: John H.L. Vogt
1903: David Maddox
1904: J. White Guyn
1905: Bill Kemper
1906: Frank Paulin
1907: George Adair
1908: George Hendrickson
1909: Dick Barbee
1910: Dick Webb
1911: Tom Earle
1912: W.C. Harrison
1913: Herschel Scot
1914: Jim Park
1915: Charles Schrader
1916: Maury Crutcher
1917: John Brittain
1918: John G. Heber
1919: Tony Dishman
1920: Eger Murphee
1921: Jim Server
1922: Birkett Pribble
1923: Dell Ramsey
1924: Curtis Sanders
1925: Ab Kirwan
1926: Frank Smith
1927: Charles Wert
1928: Claire Dees
1929: Ed Covington
1930: L.G. Forquer
1931: Ralph Wright
1932: Bud Davidson
1933: Howard Kreuter
1934: Joe Rupert
1935: Jim Long
1936: Stan Nevers
1937: Joe Hagan
1938: John S. Hinkebein
1939: Joe Shepherd
1940: John Eibner
1941: None
1942: Charles Walker
1943: No team (war year)
1944: Jim Little
1945: Roger Yost
1946: Phil Cutchin
1947: Bill Moseley
1948: George Blanda
1949: Harry Ulinski, Dick Holway
1950: Bob Gain, Wilbur Jamerson
1951: Vito Parilli, Doug Moseley
1952: John Griggs
1953: Ray Correll, Tommy Adkins
1954: Harry Kirk, Joe Koch
1955: Bob Hardy, Howard Schnellenberger
1956: Dave Kuhn, Roger Pack
1957: Bob Collier, Kenny Robertson
1958: Bob Lindon, Doug Shively
1959: Glenn Shaw, Cullen Wilson
1960: Jerry Eisaman, Lloyd Hodge
1961: Irv Goode
1962: Tommy Simpson
1963: Darrell Cox
1964: Jim Foley, Bill Jenkins
1965: Rick Norton, Sam Ball
1966: Rich Machel, Larry Seiple
1967: Kerry Curling, Doug Van Meter
1968: Jeff Van Note, Dennis Drinnen
1969: Wilbur Hackett, Bill Duke
1970: Game Captains
1971: Dan Neal, Joe Federspiel
1972: Dan Neal, Earl Swindle
1973: Ray Barga, Frank LeMaster
1974: Mike Fanuzzi, Tom Ehlers
1975: Wally Pesuit, Tom Ranieri
1976: Game Captains
1977: Game Captains
1978: Game Captains
1979: Mike Shutt, Lester Boyd
1980: Ken Roark, Tim Gooch
1981: Jim Campbell, Greg Long
1982: John Maddox, Andy Molls
1983: Ron Bojalad, Scott Schroeder
1984: Oliver White, Dave Thompson
1985: Ken Pietrowiak, Jon Dumbauld
1986: Bill Ransdell, Tom Wilkins
1987: Jeff Kremer, Dermontti Dawson
1988: Bo Smith, Chris Chenault
1989: Andy Murray, Oliver Barnett
1990: Freddie Maggard, Randy Holleran
1991: Greg Lahr, Joey Couch
1992: Robert “Pookie” Jones, Dean Wells, Travis Powers
1993: Robert “Pookie” Jones, Marty Moore, James Tucker
1994: Mark Askin, Melvin Johnson, Robert Stinson, Randy Wyatt
1995: Barry Jones, Mike Schlegel, David Snardon, James Tucker
1996: Billy Jack Haskins, Van Hiles
1997: Tremayne Martin, John Schlarman, Littleton Ward
1998: Tim Couch, Jeff Snedegar
1999: Dusty Bonner, George Massey, Marlon McCree, Jeff Snedegar, Anwar Stewart, Anthony White
2000: Willie Gary, Derek Homer, Eric Kelly, Quentin McCord, Marlon McCree, Jimmy Robinson, Grayson Smith, Omar Smith
2001: Dougie Allen, Ronnie Riley
2002: Jared Lorenzen, Glenn Pakulak, Ronnie Riley
2003: Jared Lorenzen, Vincent “Sweet Pea” Burns
2004: Shane Boyd, Vincent “Sweet Pea” Burns
2005: Muhammad Abdullah, Tommy Cook
2006: Keenan Burton, Lamar Mills
2007: Andre’ Woodson, Wesley Woodyard
2008: Braxton Kelley, Tony Dixon
2009: Zipp Duncan, Corey Peters
2010: DeQuin Evans, Randall Cobb
2011: Stuart Hines, Danny Trevathan
2012: Matt Smith, Collins Ukwu
2013: Avery Williamson and game captains
2014: Javess Blue, Alvin “Bud” Dupree, Za’Darius Smith, Jordan Swindle
2015: Farrington Huguenin, Josh Forrest, Patrick Towles, Jordan Swindle, Melvin Lewis, A.J. Stamps
2016: Jon Toth, Courtney Miggins, Courtney Love, Jeff Badet, Jojo Kemp, Marcus McWilson
2017: Mike Edwards, Nick Haynes, Stephen Johnson, Courtney Love, Garrett Johnson, Charles Walker
2018: Josh Allen, George Asafo-Adjei, C.J. Conrad, Kash Daniel, Mike Edwards, Benny Snell Jr.
2019: Lynn Bowden Jr., Kash Daniel, Logan Stenberg, Terry Wilson, Josh Paschal
2020: Josh Ali, Quinton Bohanna, Yusuf Corker, Max Duffy, Drake Jackson, Josh Paschal, DeAndre Square, Boogie Watson, Terry Wilson and Landon Young
2021: Josh Ali, Yusuf Corker, Luke Fortner, Will Levis, Marquan McCall, Josh Paschal, Chris Rodriguez Jr., and DeAndre Square

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