BY BRIAN CHRISTOPHERSON / Lincoln Journal Star
At 11:30 Friday morning, seniors Zackary Bowman, Brett Byford and Bo Ruud found out they were this year's Husker football captains.
Head coach Bill Callahan called a meeting to make the announcement. Teammates did the voting.
Ruud's selection was of little surprise. The Lincoln Southeast grad's father Tom was a captain (1974) and brother Barrett (2004) was a captain. Fittingly, his father was at Friday's practice.
"It's just a privilege and honor to be selected by your teammates," said the linebacker and All-Big 12 preseason selection. "I'm going to try to do everything I can to help this program and my teammates."
The selections of Bowman, the cornerback, and Byford, the center, were not as easily predicted.
Bowman played for the Huskers in only the 2005 season before an ACL injury to his left knee put him on the shelf for all of last year.
After coming back from the setback, Bowman suffered another knee injury this spring that left him out almost five months before he returned to the field on Sunday.
"I might as well just call this home," said Bowman, the first Alaska native to be a football captain at NU. "I've been here for three years. This is my last year. I'm going to make the best of it. I'm going to have fun. We're going to take this team a long way."
Byford, known as "Bama" to his teammates, has been with the program since 2003, but crept mostly under the radar until the second game of last year when he took over starting center duties.
"The last 12 months, man, have just been an incredible ride, how fast things change," Byford said.
He was asked what he would have said a year ago if someone told him this would happen.
"Probably laughed in your face. At this time last year, I was just hoping to play in a game. One game. I would have been grateful for that."