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Northwestern football leadership council 2016: Clayton Thorson, Anthony Walker, Justin Jackson among players elected

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The 12-man group includes six returners and six newbies.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Pat Fitzgerald and the Northwestern football program announced its 2016 Leadership Council at the start of spring practice. The group features starting quarterback Clayton Thorson and All-American middle linebacker Anthony Walker among several others.

The player-elected group, which "has significant input on team goal-setting, uniform selection, optimal gameday schedules and more" according to the release, shrunk to 12 members this year, after 14 players were on it last year. The group discusses issues that affect the team with Fitzgerald and maintains consistent communication with the coaching staff as a whole.

Thorson, who made it last year while battling Matt Alviti and now-graduated Zack Oliver for the starting quarterback job, is one of six returners.

Here's the entire group:

2016 Leadership Council

(Number in parentheses is the number of years the player has been elected to the leadership council. For example, 2016 is C.J. Robbins's second year on the council.)

Seniors

DT C.J. Robbins (2)
CB Matthew Harris (2)
WR Austin Carr (1)
LB Joseph Jones (1)
RB Warren Long (1)
OL Connor Mahoney (1)

Juniors

RB Justin Jackson (2)
SB Jayme Taylor (2)
LB Anthony Walker, Jr. (2)

Sophomores

QB Clayton Thorson (2)
DT Jordan Thompson (1)
LB Tommy Vitale (1)