As Rutgers lined up for team stretches to kickoff the third practice of training camp, head coach Kyle Flood took to the megaphone to make an announcement.
Rutgers had picked their four team captains.
On defense, it’s seniors Jamal and Jamil Merrell. On offense, it’s redshirt junior wide receiver Brandon Coleman and junior quarterback Gary Nova.
“I think every year when you announce your captains it’s a special day because they are the core of your leadership body on your team,” Flood said.
Nova takes on the rare role of being a captain as a true junior. It’s a title that caught Nova a little bit by surprise, but not his head coach.
“I think it’s important that your captains are people that your teammates think of as captains,” Flood said. “And if that is your quarterback – quarterback is always going to be a position of leadership regardless of whether or not he’s the captain, but here probably a little bit of an added bonus if you realize that his peers see him in that role in this early stage, it’s generally good.”
As for the Merrell’s, they become the first brothers to be captains at the same time since Gabe and George Ludlow in 1893.
“120 years, me and my brother just changed history,” Jamil said.
Making the moment that much more meaningful for each of the twins.
“That’s double special,” Jamal said. “Looking to my left and seeing he’s a captain too, our journey is together. We always said it was going to do this together.”