Liberty announces 2018 football captains

Liberty FootballLiberty football coach Turner Gill welcomed the Flames’ first-ever FBS roster to town yesterday by announcing this year’s leadership team.

During the Flames’ first team meeting of the summer workout sessions, which included both returning players and incoming newcomers, Gill announced his 2018 team captains.

The five-member leadership team, which will help guide the Flames through their first season of competing at the FBS level, is Dontae Duff (R-Jr., OL), Antonio Gandy-Golden (Jr., WR), David King (R-Sr., LB), James Passmore (R-Sr., OL) and Jeremy Peters (Sr., CB).

Duff has started each game of the last two seasons and has provided the Flames with versatility on the offensive line. The native of Mesquite, Texas, has started 13 games at right guard, five at left guard and four contests at center.

The two-time All-Big South second-team honoree graded out at 93 percent in 2017, finishing the year with 79 knockdowns and one sack allowed.

Gandy-Golden made the most of his first year as a starter in 2017, becoming the seventh player in program history to record 1,000 yards as a wide receiver in a season (1,066).

If Liberty was eligible for the NCAA FCS national rankings, the native of Dallas, Ga., would have ranked No. 9 in the country in receiving yards per game (106.6). He was named to the All-Big South first team and finished the year with six 100-yard games, while tying for the conference lead with 10 touchdowns.

King will be looking to step into an expanded role within Liberty’s defensive unit following the graduation of several key players from last year’s squad. The native of Stuarts Draft, Va., has seen playing time in 28 career games, including each game of the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He has recorded 17 tackles (five solo, 12 assisted), including a career-best 13 stops in 2017.

Passmore has seen playing time in 17 games during the last two seasons, including seven career starts at both guard positions. The native of Dallas, N.C., saw playing time in six games in 2017 and started the Flames’ season finale at Charleston Southern at left guard.

Along with Duff, Passmore helped protect Stephen Calvert, allowing the quarterback to set a school record in passing yards (3,363), completions (257) and touchdowns (29). Liberty was not eligible for national rankings in 2017 due to its FBS transition process; however, if the Flames were eligible, Liberty would have ranked No. 12 in the country in total offense (449.2 yards per game) and No. 9 in passing offense (309.9 yards per game).

Peters is a two-time team captain (2017 and 2018) and earned All-Big South second-team honors in 2017. He started all 11 games at field cornerback in 2017, finishing the season with 36 tackles (28 solo, eight assisted).

The native of Green Cove Springs, Fla., ranked fifth in the Big South in passes defended (11) and tied for fourth in the conference in interceptions (3). He recorded all three of his interceptions in one game, last year, picking off three passes, including a 15-yard return for a touchdown during a road win at Gardner-Webb.

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