Four named as football team captains for for 2009

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Four seniors who figure to play prominent roles in a recharged Golden Eagle defense have been selected as Tennessee Tech’s 2009 football team captains, head coach Watson Brown announced this week.

The team has chosen linemen Brendon Fisher and Kelvin Quarles, cornerback Taron Ryce and outside linebacker Derrian Waters to serve as captains for the Golden Eagles.

Choosing captains heading into the season is a departure from Tech’s previous three decades, when game captains have been selected and permanent team captains were named following the season.

“We felt we needed to define our leadership more because we have such a small senior class,” Brown said. “All four of them have the potential to be really good captains. They are all leaders.

“I think the players picked four good captains, and all of them are really good people, too.”

The four come from a senior class that numbers only eight players.

Waters is a 5-9 outside linebacker from Franklin (Tenn.) High School. He began his Golden Eagle career on defense, moved to tailback the past two seasons, and during Spring drills moved back to an outside linebacker position on the defense for his final season.

“Derrian has been one of the best leaders on the team since I’ve been here,” Brown said.

Ryce is a 5-11 defensive back from Sparkman High School in Harvest, Ala., who returns to his starting role at cornerback in 2009. He has played in 33 games during his three seasons and started 22 of the last 23. He has posted 145 total tackles and four interceptions, broken up 24 passes, caused two fumbles and recovered two.

Fisher is a 6-foot-2 defensive end from Rickards High School in Tallahassee, Fla. He has played in 31 contests in his three seasons, and has started 23 consecutive games. He has 76 total tackles to his credit, including five quarterback sacks and 11.5 tackles-for-loss.

“Taron and Brandon have both grown up quite a bit in my two years here,” Brown said. “They are both excellent athletes and they have developed really strong work habits.”

Quarles is a newcomer to the squad, a transfer from UAB who arrived last fall and went through Spring drills with his new teammates. He will split his time between defensive end and outside linebacker.

“Kelvin has great leadership skills and a tremendous work ethic,” Brown said. “It’s really something to come in here and immediately earn the kind of respect within the team to be named captain. That says a lot about him.”

The Golden Eagles will open the 2009 season on Thursday, Sept. 10, when they host Pikeville College at 7 p.m. in Tucker Stadium. Season tickets are on sale at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or by calling (931) 372-3940.