Today, Bill Snyder announced the 12 players who will serve as player representatives for the 2016 football squad, the group from which game captains are selected. That list includes one vitally important name, as safety Dante Barnett will get a second crack at his senior season thanks to the NCAA granting his request for a medical hardship waiver. Barnett, like quarterback Jesse Ertz (whose waiver status is still unclarified), was injured in the season opener and was never able to return last season.
The full list, as elected by their peers: Barnett, quarterbacks Jesse Ertz and Joe Hubener, running back Charles Jones, wide receiver Deante Burton, tight end Dayton Valentine, center Dalton Risner, defensive lineman Jordan Willis, linebackers Elijah Lee and Trent Tanking, kicker Matthew McCrane, and punter Nick Walsh. It's Barnett's third season in the role; Hubener, McCrane, and Willis served last season.
The player representatives effectively serve as position group captains and are charged with maintaining adherence to the program's 16 Goals, although one can assume that Tanking and Valentine are included for special teams duties; Lee would be the obvious linebacker representative, and Burton would serve that role for the receivers. (This isn't a knock on Dayton or Trent; in fact, in the Snyder system it's perhaps an even higher honor.)
As for the primary offensive and defensive representatives, the choices seem rather obvious. As always with a Snyder team, experience carries a lot of weight, and of the twelve only Risner and Valentine are underclassmen by eligibility -- a clear indication of the respect paid those two by their teammates.
Spring practice commences in a week, and ends with the Purple/White Spring Game on April 23 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.