Four Seniors Named 2002 Football Captains

Aug. 26, 2002

By a vote of their teammates, seniors Paul Arnold, Ben Mahdavi, Jafar Williams and Elliott Zajac have been named captains of the Washington football team for the 2002 season, head coach Rick Neuheisel announced today.

Arnold, a Seattle native and a Kennedy High graduate, enters his second season as a starting wide receiver after beginning his career as a tailback. The former high school All-American caught 43 passes for 649 yards and four touchdowns last season.

Mahdavi, from Mercer Island, Wash., will begin his third season as a starter at inside linebacker this Saturday when the No. 9 Huskies take on No. 12 Michigan in Ann Arbor. Mahdavi, a former walkon, led the Huskies with 84 tackles a year ago, a total that included 10 tackles for loss and five sacks.

Williams, from Oakland, Calif. (St. Mary's College High), was a starting outside linebacker in 1999 and 2000 before sitting out last season with a variety of injuries. He's returned to his starting role in fall camp.

Zajac, from Bakersfield High School in California, is slated to be a starting guard on the offensive line, the only senior of the five projected starters. A leg fracture will keep him out of the lineup for the first three or four games, but he is expected to return in October. Zajac started all 12 games last season after serving as a top backup in 1999 and 2000. He's also served as the Huskies' snapper on field goals and PATs for the last two years.

All four captains enter the year having won three varsity letters.

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