COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Five seniors who figure to play prominent roles for the Golden Eagles this season, including four on the veteran-filled defensive side, have been selected as Tennessee Tech’s 2010 football team captains, head coach Watson Brown announced this week.
The team has chosen receiver Henry Sailes, rover Dustin Dillehay, defensive tackle Dedrick Miley, linebacker Kelechi Ordu and defensive end Charlie Seivers to serve as captains for the Golden Eagles.
Tech chose team captains last year in the preseason for the first time since the 1970s. For the previous three decades, game captains have been selected and permanent team captains were named following the season.
“We changed our way of selecting captains last year,” Brown explained. “We felt we needed to define our leadership more because we have such a small senior class, and we do once again this year.”
The five come from a senior class that numbers only 10 players.
“All five of them have the potential to be really good captains, each in his own way. They are all leaders, some by their actions on the field and some as more vocal leaders.
“I think the players picked five good captains, and all of them are really good people, too.”
Henry Sailes is a wide receiver/returner from Palmetto, Fla., who ranks ninth in career all-purpose yards and second in kickoff return yards.
“Henry has been a solid player ever since he’s been here,” Brown said. “He’s been a playmaker for us. He’s moved to wide receiver to help us get some speed on the outside. He’s working at becoming a better returner, and I think he’s trying to be a better leader, too.”
Dustin Dillehay is a rover from Hartsville, Tenn., who led the team in tackles last season. He was named OVC Defensive Player of the Week as well as the FCS National Defensive Player of the Week.A fifth-year senior, he has played in all 34 games during the past three seasons.
“Dustin has gone from being a walk-on to being one of our better leaders,” Brown said. “He’s a solid leader. He doesn’t say a whole lot. He does it by doing what he’s supposed to do and doing it right every play, and taking car of himself off the field. He leads by example.”
Dedrick Miley is a fifth-year defensive lineman from Valdosta, Ga. He has seen action in 33 of Tech’s 34 games the past three years and ranks among team leaders in quarterback sacks and tackles-for-loss.
“Dedrick was elected a captain and he isn’t even a starter,” Brown said. “I think that says a lot about him. He’s a young man who enjoys the game, he gives us some spirit out here, and he goes hard. He’s been a good captain and a good leader so far.”
Kelechi Ordu is a fifth-year linebacker out of Stone Mountain, Ga., who has played in 29 contests since 2007.
“When I got here Kelechi didn’t play much a all. He waited his time, and I know he was frustrated. He finally got in there and when he got in there, he earned himself a spot. I like kids like that,” Brown said. “Probably as much as anybody on our team he leads by example and total work ethic There’s not a harder working kid on this team than Kelechi Ordu.”
Charlie Seivers is a fifth-year senior from Knoxville and a starter at the defensive end/outside linebacker position. He is second on the team in career tackles-for-loss.
“When I got here, Charlie was overweight. He lost weight, changed his body, and became one of the better work ethic guys on our team,” Brown said. “He went from tight tend to outside linebacker/defensive end, and he’s been a good players for us all the way through. He’s come back for his fifth year and he’s a solid leader on our team.”
The Golden Eagles open the 2010 season Saturday at the University of Arkansas against the 17th ranked Razorbacks. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. in Fayetteville, Ark. Season tickets for Tech’s five home games in Tucker Stadium are on sale at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or by calling (931) 372-3940.