Michigan football names six captains for 2023 season

Michael Barrett

Michigan linebacker Michael Barrett kisses the trophy as he celebrates with teammates after defeating Purdue in the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, early Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Indianapolis. Michigan won, 43-22. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)AP


The Michigan football team unveiled its list of captains for the 2023 season, and there are six names on it this year.

Three players on offense and three on defense were given the official title on Thursday, an annual award voted on by their peers.

The names are: linebacker Michael Barrett, running back Blake Corum, defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, defensive back Mike Sainristil, and offensive linemen Zak Zinter and Trevor Keegan. Sainristil is the only two-time captain among the group, having been voted in last year.

“It feels good being viewed by teammates in that light,” Sainristil, a senior, told reporters on Thursday. “I don’t think there’s a brighter light that you can be viewed in than this one. Because these are the guys that see what I do daily, hear how I talk daily, know how I act daily.

“Ultimately, they were the ones that made the decision.”

Read more: Who replaces Jim Harbaugh as interim head coach?

Voting was held this week and candidates were limited to players with senior status or higher, ruling out quarterback J.J. McCarthy. But the honor was expected for several of them, including Corum, Jenkins and Zinter, all of whom passed up declaring for the NFL draft in the spring to return for one more season.

Corum is coming off an exceptional season, having rushed for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns in 12 games, but missed two of the biggest games with a debilitating knee injury. He says he’s healthy, back playing full speed and ready to suit up again.

A beefed-up Jenkins has garnered plenty of accolades this offseason, from regular praise from his teammates and head coach Jim Harbaugh to earning ‘freak’ status from The Athletic. He is expected to anchor a new-look Michigan defensive line.

“This is everything,” Jenkins, a fifth-year senior, said. “I never expected to be here. This is beyond an honor and a privilege. Honestly, I just want to do everything in my power to represent the block ‘M’ in the best way possible.”

Keegan and Zinter return as the anchors of Michigan’s Joe Moore Award-winning offensive line, expected to start at left and right guard, respectively. They were both all-Big Ten linemen last season (Zinter a consensus first-team pick, Keegan a first-team choice by the coaches) and bring an air of stability to the group.

“My phone’s been kind of blowing up,” Keegan said. “It means everything. I feel like I’ve kind of had to earn my role here and be in the role that I am. It’s honestly a loss for words. It’s a true honor to be elected by my teammates, and I’m going to do everything I can to be the best leader I can be.”

As part of captain duties, the six players will be responsible for the pre-game meetings at midfield, lead team meetings and regularly meet with the media. It’s a role that has strong lineage and respect within the program.

The honor was especially gratifying for Barrett, the sixth-year linebacker who often jokes about being the oldest player on the team.

“I called my mom right afterwards, but I didn’t have too much time (to talk). I just kind of told her before our meeting started,” Barrett said. “She was yelling on the phone, said she’s so excited and so proud of me.”

Read more on Michigan football:

New transfer has ‘raised the level of play’ in Michigan’s linebacker room

OL Karsen Barnhart: ‘I want to be out there’ playing at tackle

Michigan’s weight loss leader ‘faster, twitchier,’ ready to erupt on edge

Michigan made a change with the defensive line to help boost pressure

Michigan IDs third receiver, prepping for ‘game-changing’ freshmen to play

If you purchase a product or register for an account through one of the links on our site, we may receive compensation. By browsing this site, we may share your information with our social media partners in accordance with our Privacy Policy.