Receiving trio leads Penn on and off field
Conner Scott, Ryan Mitchell and Ty Taylor have been essential to developing Penn's receiving corps
September 25, 2013, 11:28 pm·
Laura Francis | DP
At the end of every Penn football practice, once coach Al Bagnoli has finished speaking to his team, the squad breaks down into meetings based on position groups.
One could look at the wideouts’ group and not be blown away. After all, only two of the Quakers’ wide receivers stand taller than 6-foot-3.
However, Penn’s receiving corps is not only one of the most experienced groups on the team, but also one with a special bond, as the 2013 season marks the third campaign in which senior wide receivers Conner Scott, Ryan Mitchell and Ty Taylor have played with one another.
In 2012, Scott recorded 52 catches for 691 yards in his first action since being injured in 2010, ultimately being named second-team All-Ivy.
Less notably, Mitchell and Taylor combined for 35 catches and 345 yards, while only pulling in one score between them.
As a result, defenses have zoned in on Scott, which explains why he was limited to five catches for a mere 47 yards against Lafayette on Saturday.
“I think I’ll be seeing a little more attention at the beginning of the season, but that happened at the end of last year too,” Scott said. “And we have a system in place where the other receivers can exploit those tendencies.”
While Scott has received the most attention from the press over the past year, it won’t be long before Mitchell and Taylor draw the attention of opposing defenses as well.
Against the Leopards, Taylor reeled in a first quarter score from senior quarterback Billy Ragone for Taylor’s first touchdown.
But it isn’t the statistics that define Penn’s wide receiving corps, even when the Red and Blue feature what Taylor calls the “best wide receiver in the Ivy League” in Scott.
It’s about how close the three are.
“We’ve been great friends since freshman year,” Mitchell said. “Ty was a great addition [after transferring from Texas Tech] … We trust in each other and I know that shows on the field as well.”
“When I transferred here, I didn’t know a single person in the Northeast and I didn’t know anyone at Penn either,” Taylor added. “[Mitchell] was the first receiver I met when I got here, and we really became great friends.”
The three veterans not only share a connection with one another, but genuinely care about the success of the receiving corps as a whole, as sophomore wide receiver Christian Stapleton echoed.
“They’re all my good friends, all great kids, and they’re always helping us younger guys out when we need it,” Stapleton said.
Moving forward, the veterans will all be consistent contributors to Penn’s offense for the rest of their senior season, as will the rest of the receiving corps.
Though Taylor won’t be playing against Villanova this weekend due to precautions regarding a knee injury, if he and his fellow seniors are all at full strength come Ivy League season, there’s no sure bet as to which team has the power stop the trio.
Regardless of what impact the veterans have throughout the rest of this season, however, one thing is certain: Scott, Mitchell and Taylor have already left their mark, both in the record book and on their younger teammates for years to come.
“Those three have really inspired me to help the entire receiving corps out,” Stapleton said. “And I’m going to continue to do that even when they’re gone so that I can make them proud.”