Rice head football coach David Bailiff announced that seniors Gabe Baker and Matt Simonette have been chosen by their teammates to serve as captains for the 2014 season. The results of the voting were revealed to the team after the completion of practice on Monday. Additional captains will be chosen at the end of the year.
Both players are slated to start when Rice opens the 2014 season Saturday against Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Baker is the Owls' active leader with 43 games played and will be making his seventh career start at safety. Simonette is slated to make his first career start at center, completing a comeback from a serious arm injury early in the 2013 season against Houston.
The two seniors came to Rice on different paths. Baker was a member of the 2010 recruiting class after a standout career at San Antonio's MacArthur High School. Simonette walked on to the squad that same year and saw his tireless work pay off when he was awarded a scholarship in his junior year.
Baker was recognized as one of Rice University's Outstanding Seniors at during commencement exercises this spring. The honor recognizes senior students to have demonstrated service, dedication character during their time on campus.