Miles Norris, Nick Gesualdi, Kurt Frimel and Jack Gellatly will serve as captains for the 2017 Cornell football season after being selected by their teammates at the start of training. The quartet will look to help a steadily improving group take the next step and remain competitive in the Ivy League.
Norris will serve as a rare three-time captain — the only other person to do so in program history was quarterback Jeff Mathews ’14. Following a junior year in which he ranked fourth on the team in tackles and first in forced fumbles, Norris suffered an achilles injury in preseason training last year and missed the entire regular season. In his sophomore season, Norris led the team in tackles and was in the top 10 in the league in tackles for loss and sacks.
Gesualdi enters his final season with the Red looking to build upon his career-year in 2016. The safety earned Third-team FCS All-American honors and made the All-Ivy first team last year after leading the Red with six interceptions — good for third in the nation. Known for his fiery passion for the game, Gesualdi has racked up 190 tackles, three forced fumbles and 11 interceptions in his three seasons with the team. His presence in the defensive backfield will be key for Cornell as it looks to improve on that side of the ball this season.
Frimel is coming off a blossoming year at the inside linebacker spot, more than doubling his total tackles last year (59) versus his sophomore season (28). Frimel finished fifth on the team in tackles last season, but led the team in tackles for loss with six. His standout stat comes with his ability to knock the ball loose, as he ranked 24th nationally with three forced fumbles, as well as 20th nationally and first in the Ivy League with two fumble recoveries. His biggest game of the season last year came in the team’s dramatic comeback win over Colgate, where he set a career-high with 10 tackles, including two for a loss, a sack and a safety.
Gellatly, a running back who dabbles in special teams, enters the role with not quite as much in-game experience as the other captains, but set a career-high in touches last season. He has lettered each year of his college career after spending his freshman season on special teams, and transitioned to primarily serve as a running back as a sophomore. His breakout game that year came against Brown, when he totaled 93 rushing yards and 52 in the air — both career-highs for a single game. His first touchdown came in 75-yard effort against Sacred Heart this past season.
The four seniors will lead their team out on the field for the first time when the Red kicks off its season Sept. 16 in its first ever matchup with Delaware.