A former Quaker is returning to the City of Brotherly Love.
On Saturday, former Penn football defensive end Louis Vecchio was invited to a rookie minicamp tryout with the Philadelphia Eagles, according to SB Nation. After not being selected in last week’s NFL draft, Vecchio has the opportunity to compete for a spot on the roster.
The minicamp is from May 9 through 12, and Vecchio will be notified soon after of his potential role on the team moving ahead. Throughout the draft process, he had been in touch with a few organizations, but the Eagles were initially not one of them.
“I actually had no idea that [the Eagles] would be the team,” Vecchio said. “I had talked to a couple teams before, leading up to the draft, but I had never spoken to the Eagles at that time, so getting a call from them was definitely a surprise but a very good one. I’m very happy for them to be the ones to give me an opportunity and just give myself a chance in the League.”
Vecchio played for the Quakers for four seasons and graduated from Penn in 2018. After suffering a knee injury that forced him to miss most of his sophomore year, the Orange, Calif. native earned first team All-Ivy honors in each of his final two seasons with Penn.
Vecchio still had one more year of NCAA eligibility after graduating from Penn, since he missed almost all of the 2015 season. However, he was not eligible to play in the Ivy League because the conference does not allow athletes who have graduated to compete.
For his final NCAA season, the defensive end transferred to Vanderbilt and played in 12 of the Commodores’ 13 games. He finished the 2018 season with 24 tackles, four tackles for loss, and three sacks. Playing in both the Ivy League and the SEC allowed Vecchio to develop a unique skill set that he hopes to use to his advantage at the next level.
“Penn [was] the first opportunity for myself to get valuable playing experience really early on and develop myself as a player. And then throughout Vandy, it was just taking everything that I learned at Penn and using it at a higher level [with] increased competition,” Vecchio said. “Going into Vandy, we ran a handful of things, and I think I gained a lot of experience in many different spots that I can apply to anybody that’s willing to give me the opportunity.”
Since the college football season ended last fall, Vecchio has been training at Vanderbilt and finishing his Master of Science in Marketing, after concentrating in Finance and Operations as a Wharton undergraduate. He recently completed his last assignment for the master’s program, so for now, his focus has shifted to playing football in Philadelphia once again.
“To be back in the place that I’ve spent so much time in, that all kind of speaks for itself,” Vecchio said. “It’s going to feel like I never left, and I’m back at home basically.”
This story was updated on Wednesday, May 1 with quotes from Vecchio.