Notre Dame announces 2009 football captains

Published 8:11 am Tuesday, August 18, 2009

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Junior quarterback Jimmy Clausen, senior safety Kyle McCarthy, senior offensive lineman Eric Olsen and senior linebacker Scott Smith have been selected captains of the 2009 Notre Dame football team.

Voting was conducted Friday, Aug. 14, with the results announced to the team by head coach Charlie Weis at the beginning of meetings Saturday afternoon. Clausen and Olsen will captain the offense; McCarthy will serve as the defensive captain; and Smith will represent the special teams.

Clausen has started 22 of the 23 games he has appeared in during his Notre Dame career and is coming off the third-most prolific passing season in school history (3,172 passing yards and 25 touchdowns). In Notre Dame’s career passing charts, he ranks second in completion percentage (59.3), fourth in completions (406), fifth in attempts (685), fifth in TD passes (32) and sixth in passing yards (4,426).

McCarthy, a fifth-year senior, blossomed into a very dependable safety in 2008 during his first season as a full-time starter. Last year, he started all 13 games at strong safety and recorded a team-high 110 tackles, becoming the first Notre Dame defensive back to ever eclipse 100 tackles in a single season. McCarthy has started 14 of the 38 career games played and has 139 career tackles.

Olsen enters 2009 with the second-longest consecutive games started streak on the roster, having opened 19 straight contests.

One of four returning starters to the offensive line, Olsen moved from guard to center in 2009. He has started 19 of the 32 career games he has appeared and logged 540:12 of playing time in his Notre Dame career.

Smith returns for his fifth year and has been a special teams stalwart for the Irish. He has recorded 305 special-teams appearances in his Notre Dame career and played in 33 games. In 2008, Smith appeared in all 13 games and ranked third on the team with 190 special-teams appearances. A highly intelligent player, he graduated with degrees in management-consulting and sociology and earned a 3.649 cumulative grade-point average during his undergraduate career.

The results from the vote also helped form the leadership committee.
Joining the four captains on the leadership committee are: senior fullback James Aldridge, senior cornerback Mike Anello, senior safety Sergio Brown, sophomore wide receiver Michael Floyd, junior defensive end Kerry Neal, sophomore tight end Kyle Rudolph, senior defensive end John Ryan, junior linebacker Brian Smith and senior offensive tackle Sam Young.