Copeland named 2012 Penn Football captain
Quakers announce Brandon Copeland as first solo captain since 1997 season
April 11, 2012, 11:33 pm · Updated April 15, 2012, 11:30 pm·
Rachel Bleustein | DP
Penn football’s Class of 2013 certainly does not suffer from a lack of talent.
Quarterback Billy Ragone has decisively led the Quakers since his sophomore year, running backs Brandon Colavita, Lyle Marsh and Jeff Jack have pounded the gridiron and punter Scott Lopano has managed his duties since his freshman season.
But when it came down to voting for the captain of the 2012 squad, only one player stood out: defensive end Brandon Copeland.
Last week, the team voted for their new captains, and Copeland was the clear frontrunner. He said coach Al Bagnoli told the squad they would either have one captain or four to five, based on the votes cast.
Copeland is a two-time first-team All-Ivy selection on the defensive line, and finished second on the team last season in tackles with 51, second only to graduating senior captain Erik Rask.
Copeland said, above all, he wants to “maintain being the person that I am.”
“I’ve gotta make sure I stay true to myself,” he added.
Being the only captain, Copeland wants to lead by example — whether it’s on the field, in the locker room, in the weight room or even away from Franklin Field on a Saturday night.
He described his new responsibility as playing the role of the bad cop: “holding everyone accountable for their actions, [and] also holding myself to a higher standard.”
Copeland’s role as captain will be similar to that of former captains Greg Van Roten, Luke Nawrocki and Rask, who were tasked last year with transitioning a crop of young, inexperienced players into starters and regular contributors.
Copeland noted that, once again, “there are a lot of guys on our team who won’t be used to playing [in game situations].”
As captain, he plans to work with those players in the offseason to “help them grow quicker and make that learning curve a lot shorter,” he said.
While Penn doesn’t lose nearly as many seniors to graduation as the 33 it did last year, losing 19 graduates is no easy task to overcome.
Copeland is up for leading the charge.