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Only one player per team can participate in the coin toss this year, but BYU still names 8 team captains

Cougars pick Matt Bushman, Lopini Katoa, Brady Christensen and James Empey as offensive captains and Khyiris Tonga, Isaiah Kaufusi, Troy Warner and Zayne Anderson as defensive captains through a voting process conducted by coach Kalani Sitake

Team captains meet for the coin toss before the BYU-Utah game on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. BYU named eight captains on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020 for the 2020 season, but only one player per team will be allowed to participate in the coin toss this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Team captains meet for the coin toss before the BYU-Utah game on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. BYU named eight captains on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, for the 2020 season, but only one player per team will be allowed to participate in the coin toss this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

PROVO — A new rule in college football designed to minimize the risk and spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus allows only one player from each team to participate in the pregame coin toss, with one game official.

But BYU is still going to have a lot of captains from which to choose for that ceremonial meeting at midfield when the Cougars meet Navy on Monday (6 p.m. MDT, ESPN) in Annapolis, Maryland.

BYU coach Kalani Sitake announced Friday that eight players will serve as team captains for the 2020 season, and eight additional players will join the captains on the leadership council.

The offensive team captains are injured (Achilles) tight end Matt Bushman, junior offensive linemen Brady Christensen and James Empey and junior running back Lopini Katoa.

The defensive team captains are all seniors: linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi, lineman Khyiris Tonga and defensive backs Troy Warner and Zayne Anderson.

“These leaders were voted on and chosen by our team,” Sitake said in a school news release. “The names aren’t surprising as these have been the guys leading our team this whole year. I am happy they’ve been recognized by their teammates and just pleased we have so many great leaders on our team.”

Members of the leadership council include: senior defensive back Chris Wilcox, senior defensive tackle Bracken El-Bakri, junior quarterback Zach Wilson, junior receivers Gunner Romney and Neil Pau’u, sophomore defensive lineman Lorenzo Fauatea, sophomore quarterback Baylor Romney and sophomore linebacker Payton Wilgar.

Asked about the voting process last Monday, Sitake said there were eight players who all received “about” the same amount of votes, which probably explains why there are more captains than usual.

“I think the guys who got the most are guys you would probably already guess,” he said. “It is more about the established leaders (than a coin toss representative). It is a good problem to have — a lot of guys getting captain votes.”