Iowa State announces 2023 football captains

The following is a press release from Iowa State Athletics Communications:

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell has announced the captains for the 2023 football season.

Seniors Easton Dean, Ben Nikkel and Gerry Vaughn are joined in the leadership role by juniors Beau Freyler and Jaylin Noel.

Easton Dean – R-Sr. – Oswego, Kan.

Dean arrived at Iowa State as a quarterback recruit and moved to tight end in 2019. He started six games last year while battling injury and is listed as an expected starter for the season opener Saturday against UNI. Dean has excelled in the classroom as well, earning Academic All-Big 12 first team honors three times.

Beau Freyler – Jr. – Colorado Springs, Colo.

A safety for the Cyclones, Freyler has started 12 games and compiled 109 tackles in 24 games. He earned honorable mention All-Big 12 accolades in 2021 and 2022. Freyler is also a leader in the classroom, being named a College Sports Communicators (CSC) All-District selection last season.

Ben Nikkel – R-Sr. – McPherson, Kan.

Nikkel joined the Cyclones as a walk-on in 2021 and redshirted his initial season. In 2022, he played in all 12 games as a special teams standout and in August of 2023 he was placed on scholarship. Nikkel was initially a wide receiver before moving to defensive back.

Jaylin Noel – Jr. – Kansas City, Mo.

Noel is entering his junior season as a very productive wide receiver for the Cyclones. He enters his third season with 99 career receptions for 841 yards and three career touchdowns. Noel is on the Paul Hornung Award watch list, which recognizes the most versatile player in college football. He was named to the Big 12 Academic All-Rookie Team in 2021 and was an Academic All-Big 12 Second Team selection in 2022.

Gerry Vaughn – R-Sr. – Atlanta, Ga.

Vaughn, a linebacker, has made 18 career starts for the Cyclones and led the team in tackles a season ago with 71. He is Iowa State’s 2023 Jack Trice Endowed Scholarship recipient and is also on the Wuerffel Trophy watch list, which honors players who are inspired to serve others and make positive impacts on society. Vaughn is a four-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree.

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