football

In pursuit of an Ivy League title defense this season, Penn football has added a promising group of players to the squad through the Class of 2020, hailing from 13 states all over the country.

Photo: Carson Kahoe / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Twenty-nine members of the Class of 2020 will join Penn’s football team this fall.

The new student-athletes — 16 defensive players, 12 offensive players and one kicker — hail from 13 different states. California and Texas are each home to four new members of the football team, while New York, New Jersey and Colorado are the home states of three members each. Maryland, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Illinois will each be sending two new Quakers to campus. Connecticut, Virginia, Kansas and Florida will each have one representatives in the Red and Blue’s new class.

The composition of players coming in on the offensive side of the ball is fairly balanced and includes running backs, quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends and a multi-position athlete.

The new defensive class is also well balanced — four linemen and six linebackers will be come to Philadelphia with the hopes of earning a starting spot in the Quakers’ front seven, while six defensive backs will also call University City home in the fall. A kicker will round out the 2020 recruiting class for Penn.

“It is always a great moment when we get to officially welcome our newest class of scholar athletes to our program,” head coach Ray Priore said in an announcement on the Penn Athletics website. “We have scoured the country in search of the right type of player to succeed in a Penn uniform, and we are confident that we have put together a group which will fit right in with our team. This group is filled with high character people who are aiming at big goals — two traits we value immensely at Penn.”

Almost every member of the class served as team captain at some point during their high school careers, and the class is represented in every school at Penn besides Nursing.

The Quakers will look to this new recruiting class to contribute immediately in the 2016 season with the hopes of defending its Ivy League crown. Despite having the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year in linebacker Tyler Drake and leading the Ivy League in sacks and also finishing second in both interceptions and fumble recoveries, the Quakers finished sixth in the league in both points per game and yards allowed. These rankings will have to improve, lest the Red and Blue fail to defend its title.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Quakers will hope that the Class of 2020 can help improve their sixth-ranked passing offense to bolster their second-ranked rushing offense. Despite the presence of star receiver Justin Watson, the Quakers finished the season above only Columbia and Cornell in passing yards per game.

That said, Franklin Field has been home to plenty of football success for the Quakers, and the Class of 2020 will be looking to keep it that way when the team starts practice in August.

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