Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) head football coach Ralph Isernia has announced that seniors Ted Abriel and Joe Cozzolino have been chosen by their teammates to serve as captains for the 2013 season. Abriel is a defensive lineman from Slingerlands, N.Y., while Cozzolino is a native of Chatham, N.Y., who plays tight end.

"The football team has chosen two great leaders to represent its program," said Isernia. "These young men represent the finest attributes of Rensselaer student-athletes. Ted and Joe have built up that “sweat equity” in our football program. They are great examples on the field, in the classroom and in the community. Rensselaer is extremely fortunate to have Ted and Joe as part of their world-class institution. As the coach, I am lucky to have them."

Abriel has played in all 28 varsity games during his collegiate career, ranking in the top three on the team in tackles twice. He was third last season, making 53 stops, including a team-high 29 unassisted tackles. He also had 5.0 tackles for lost yards (33), including four sacks (32 yards lost). He forced one fumble on his way to earning All-Liberty League First Team and All-Region Third Team recognition. He was also selected as the team's Lineman of the Year.

As a sophomore, the Bethlehem High School graduate was All-League, All-Region and the team's Outstanding Defensive Player after ranking second on the squard with 63 tackles. Abriel had 27 solo stops with a team-high 8.0 tackles for lost yards (35) and 4.5 sacks (26 yards lost). He also forced a fumble and broke up a pass. In 2010, he played all 10 games, making 25 tackles (10 solo) with three tackles for lost yards (14) and 1.5 sacks (3 yards lost). He was named the team's Defensive Rookie of the Year that season. Abriel is a civil engineering major who has earned Dean's List honors.

Cozzolino majors in industrial and management engineering and is also on the Dean's List. He was recently nominated for the 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team based on his consistent willingness to participate in the program's efforts to support the community. The award recognizes a select group of college football players who have made a commitment to enriching the lives of others while contributing to the greater good of their communities.

On the field the Chatham High School graduate has 23 career receptions for 285 yards and three touchdowns. He has a 92% blocking percentage and has also been a standout on special teams, recording five tackles, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. He has also been a game captain for the Engineers.

Cozzolino, Abriel and their teammates begin the season on September 7 against Norwich University at the East Campus Stadium in Troy (12pm).

The preceding information was provided by RPI Athletics.

More From 104.5 THE TEAM