Since Scott Frost took over the helm of the Nebraska Cornhuskers' football program, the yearly captain selection process has displayed some repeating guidelines. In 2018, Stanley Morgan and Jerald Foster represented the offense. The defense had its leadership in Mick Stoltenberg and Luke Gifford. This trend continued last year with Adrian Martinez and Matt Farniok getting the blessing to lead those aiming to light up the scoreboard. Graduate transfer Darrion Daniels and linebacker Mohamed Barry carried the Blackshirts' banner.
As of today, Nebraska might not be in a position to trot out player representation until the spring if Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren's edict stands. But several of the Huskers' conference brethren are fighting tooth and nail to see he has a change of heart and follows the ACC, Big 12, and SEC's leads.
Whether during a season late this year or early next, guidance from players will be paramount during a period that can only be described as fluid. Keep in mind that meanwhile in Lincoln — amidst all this — Frost brought in assistant coaches Matt Lubick to further develop his quick-tempo attack and Mike Dawson returns to shore up concerns at outside linebacker. To aid them in rallying the roster, these players would all be excellent captain choices for when Warren okays a return to the gridiron.
Adrian Martinez, QB, Jr.
Martinez is once again an obvious choice despite missing at least one game in each of his two seasons. Injuries aside, Martinez a key cog in Frost's attack. He appears leaner in the most recent performance photos released by the Huskers' social media team to showcase their offseason progress.
He's also been his head coach's guy since Day One, and unseating him will be an arduous task for either Luke McCaffrey or Logan Smothers. His place at the table all but assures at least one more year assisting with coin flip calls.
Brendan Jaimes, OL, Sr.
It feels like just yesterday Jaimes became only the 11th true freshman in school history to start on the Big Red's offensive line. Now a senior, he will lead a Nebraska front that should feature players at natural positions across the board for the first time since the staff of UCF's undefeated 2017 season came aboard. Regardless of who is behind center, Jaimes can set up Frost's offense for success while having every chance to demand the attention of NFL scouts by going up against some of the best pass rushers the Big Ten boasts.
JoJo Domann, LB, Sr.
Few members of the Blackshirts — let alone the full roster — match Domann's intensity and playmaking ability. Nebraska's offense has notable contributors such as Martinez and Wan'Dale Robinson. Meanwhile, No. 13 is easily the biggest threat among Erik Chinander's front seven, if not the whole defense. He must lead by example, as three new starters up front get familiar with each other and Dawson's teachings sink in at the second level.
Dicaprio Bootle, CB, Sr.
Both Bootle and fellow cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt are the most notable faces of Travis Fisher's secondary. While Marquel Dismuke and Deontai Williams lay the lumber at safety, the Huskers' cornerbacks have been extraordinarily disruptive over their respective careers. These defensive backs have several similar characteristics. However, Bootle's seniority should earn him the nod this year while No. 5 waits his turn for a probable captain's designation in 2021.