April 12, 2006
University of Notre Dame head football coach Charlie Weis, after teasing the media with his scouting report of Georgia Tech (Notre Dame’s first opponent in ’06), announced the 2006 team captains at a short press gathering on Wednesday, April 12 in the Guglielmino Athletics Complex.
As voted on by their teammates, seniors Brady Quinn (offense), Tom Zbikowski (defense) and Travis Thomas (special teams) will serve as Notre Dame’s three team captains in 2006. Thomas will serve as the special teams captain for each game of the season, which will be a change from the ’05 campaign. The Irish coaching staff named a special teams captain each week of the season last fall.
Quinn will repeat his offensive team captaincy from 2005, becoming Notre Dame’s first repeat captain since Grant Irons from 2000-01. He shared the ’05 team MVP award with receiver Jeff Samardzija and was named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press. He also became Notre Dame’s all-time career passing leader in attempts (1,135), completions (640) touchdown passes (58), yards (8,336) and yards per game (231.6) during the ’05 season.
Zbikowski was voted as a captain by his defensive teammates after enjoying a breakout season in ’05. Named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press, Zbikowski was one of the nation’s finest safeties and return specialists last season. He was one of four recipients of the Nick Pietrosante Award, which is presented annually to the Notre Dame player who best exemplifies the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and pride shown by the late Irish fullback.
For the ’05 season, Zbikowski started all 12 games, finished fourth on the team in tackles with 71 (42 solos) and returned 27 punts for 379 yards (14.0 average) and two touchdowns (78 and 60 yards).
Thomas made his mark on the ’05 Irish team with both is work on special teams and in the Notre Dame backfield. He played on all four special teams units in ’05, calling the blocking assignments and signals on the punt unit. Thomas ended up making 132 special teams appearances and posting seven tackles (five solo). From the Irish backfield, Thomas rushed 63 times for 248 yards and five touchdowns.
Weis also announced that next Wednesday at his weekly press gathering he will announce the format for the 2006 Blue/Gold Scrimmage, scheduled for Saturday, April 22.