The Nebraska football program has permanent captains after all. 

The team announced four seniors — wide receiver Stanley Morgan, left guard Jerald Foster, defensive tackle Mick Stoltenberg and outside linebacker Luke Gifford — as captains via its official twitter account on Thursday evening. 

"We debated a little bit as a coaching staff because our coaching staff has always had kind of a unity council that existed of leaders on the team and then we had gameday captains out of that group," coach Scott Frost said on the Husker Nightly radio program, shortly after the online announcement. "After talking about it and deliberating on it for a while, we decided to keep with Nebraska tradition of having just four captains. So we voted on it as a team and it was pretty clear winners with those four coming out. They’ll be our captains for the year." 

For the second straight year, three of the four are Nebraska natives. 

"That’s the first time I thought about it, but yeah, that is good," Frost said. "A lot of guys that understand what Nebraska is all about."

Frost has pointed to each consistently as leaders in different ways since taking over the program in December. 

Stoltenberg, a Gretna native, is the elder statesman of a deep and talented defensive line and has become one of the central figures of Erik Chinander's defense. 

“Accountability’s been thrown around a lot (lately)," Stoltenberg said. "That’s definitely something we’re trying to get better with.

“Really what that means to us is players taking care of players," he added. "If someone’s missing a meal or missing a class or something, I want to get to them before coach Duval or coach Frost because I’m on the same level as them. I want to explain to them, ‘Hey, I’ve got to trust you during a game. I can’t trust you now. So what do we need to do to get to that point?’”

Gifford, a Lincoln native, overcame November hip surgery that held him out of spring ball and established himself as among NU's best defensive players in fall camp. 

“That’s a person that I look up to and I’m going to listen to and I’m going to be all ears whatever he’s telling me," sophomore outside linebacker Breon Dixon said earlier this month. "He’s a person that has my best interest, especially at my position and being here, having done it.”

Foster, also a Lincoln native, is a multiyear starter and Frost this week said that the left guard has been perhaps the Huskers' go-to vocal leader, regardless of position. 

"He’s going to get the guys in a huddle if he needs to, we’re going to run a play again because of those guys if we need to," Frost said of Foster. "It needs to extend past the practice field, and it extended past the practice field with guys like Grant (Wistrom) and Jason (Peter). I think we’re getting there but I want to see those guys step out even more.”

Morgan, a New Orleans native, is among the most decorated offensive players in the Big Ten. He set an NU single-season record with 986 receiving yards in 2017 and added 10 touchdowns. 

“He's been there and done that,” offensive coordinator Troy Walters said. ”Has great size. Great ball skills. Physical player and plays with an attitude. He's really come in and grasped the offense. We're going to count on him to be the guy.

Impact players this fall

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Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.