BYU football coach Kalani Sitake announced Friday that Tejan Koroma, Tanner Mangum, Butch Pau’u and Fred Warner were voted team captains by their fellow players.
“We didn’t think that we would be selected,” Pau’u said, referring to his own selection and Warner’s. “We’re just guys that go out and lead the team in any way we can–whatever Coach Sitake wants us to do, we do.”
The captains are an experienced group: center Koroma and linebacker Warner are seniors, while quarterback Mangum and linebacker Pau’u are juniors.
Warner said being appointed by his fellow players was significant to him.
“These are the guys that we’re grinding with day in and day out and the guys that we’re going to go to battle with on Saturdays, on Fridays, and so knowing that they believe in us and they respect us like that, it does mean a lot to both of us,” Warner said, referring to himself and Pau’u.
However, while honored, Warner said the appointment doesn’t change things too much.
“We’re going to keep being the people that we’re being and lead the team that we know how by example,” he said.
Warner has been named to several watch lists this season. Playing outside linebacker, he quickly adjusted to last season’s shift to a 4-3 scheme under defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki, leading the team with 86 total tackles and finishing No. 2 on the team for tackles for loss and interceptions.
Pau’u had his first career start last season against Arizona and finished the season with 83 tackles, just behind Warner. He had a career high 19 tackles against UCLA, tying him for fourth place in BYU history for individual tackles in a single game.
Kormona has anchored the offensive line as the team’s starting center since joining the team as a true freshman in 2014. He was named to watch lists for this year’s Rimington Trophy and Outland Trophy awards.
Mangum, well known for his passing ability, saw playing time in four games last year as the backup quarterback for Taysom Hill. Now, as the undisputed starter, he is expected to lead a strong pro-style offense under the coaching of offensive coordinator and former Heisman winner Ty Detmer. Mangum was named to the 2017 Davey O’Brien watch list last month.