3 players elected as 2017 Syracuse football captains

Junior quarterback Eric Dungey (Lake Oswego, Ore.), senior linebacker Zaire Franklin (Philadelphia, Pa.) and redshirt sophomore punter Sterling Hofrichter (Valrico, Fla.) have been elected team captains for the 2017 season, Syracuse head football coach Dino Babers announced on Wednesday, Oct. 11. The trio was elected in a team vote prior to last Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh.

“These three young men represent the heartbeat of this football team,” Babers said. “Their commitment to not only doing it right on the football field, but doing it right off the football field, is at the highest level.”

Senior receiver Steve Ishmael (Miami, Fla.), senior linebacker Parris Bennett (Detroit, Mich.) and junior snapper Matt Keller (Willow Street, Pa.) were voted co-captains of their respective units.

Franklin is the first three-time captain in modern Syracuse football history and the second in the 128-year history of the program (Robert Adams, 1894-96). A three-year starter at middle linebacker, Franklin is second on the team with 40 tackles. He has started 33 consecutive games for the Orange and ranks fifth among active ACC players with 266 career stops.

Bennett leads Syracuse with 56 tackles on the season and ranks fourth in the conference in tackles per game (9.3).

One most productive quarterbacks in the nation, Dungey ranks in the top 10 nationally in completions per game (4th – 28.0), passing yards (8th – 1,802) and total offense (5th – 354.5) in 2017. He owns or shares 11 school records, including most career 300-yard passing games (9). Dungey has accounted for 17 touchdowns this season and leads the Orange in rushing with 325 yards and eight scores.

Ishmael is the national leader in receptions (56), receptions per game (9.3) and receiving yards (729). He opened the season with five consecutive 100-yard receiving games to tie the school record. In 41 career games, Ishmael has 170 catches for 2,273 yards and 14 touchdowns. He ranks third on the Orange’s career receptions list and fourth all-time in yards.

Hofrichter is the fifth sophomore captain in team history, a list that includes Franklin (2015), Angelo Acocella (1945), Joe Alexander (1918) and Robert Adams (1894). The second-year punter is currently third in the ACC and 14th in the FBS in punting average (45.1). He also ranks third in the league in number of punts downed inside the 20-yard line (12).

Keller is Syracuse’s snapper for both punts and placement kicks. He is responsible for initiating a Syracuse punting operation that ranks sixth nationally and first in the ACC in net punting average (43.0).

Prior to last week’s vote, captains rotated on a game-by-game basis for the first five weeks of the season.

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