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Captain and linebacker Brian O'Neill will anchor the Quakers defensive unit along with defensive lineman Prince Emili.

Credit: Chase Sutton

Penn football announced the team's five captains for the 2021 season, including three graduate students and two seniors: graduate student Brian O'Neill, senior Jake Heimlicher, graduate student Isaiah Malcolme, senior Trevor Radosevich, and graduate student Prince Emili. In the lead-up to football season, here is an introduction to your 2021 football captains.

Brian O'Neill, Linebacker, 6-foot-2, 240 pounds

O'Neill is one of five graduate students on the team who are taking advantage of the recent Ivy League rule change allowing for graduate students to participate in university athletics. Though he lost his senior year to the COVID-19 pandemic, O'Neill helped anchor the Quaker defense as a junior, starting all 10 games and ranking second in the Ivy League in interceptions, and ultimately received second team All-Ivy recognition.

Beyond his performance on the field, O'Neill has also established himself as a leader in the locker room, even while the team was not playing during the pandemic.

“I’m pretty outgoing and loud. It’s easy for people either to a) look up to me or b) come to me if you have any problems or anything,” O’Neill previously told the DP. “I think I’m pretty open and cordial with that stuff, and a lot of kids rally behind that.”

Jake Heimlicher, Linebacker, 6-foot-4, 240 pounds

Another veteran piece of the defense, Heimlicher is looking to continue his upwards trajectory after a solid sophomore year. In 2019, Heimlicher appeared in all 10 games as a linebacker and recorded 14 tackles. His strongest performance came against Dartmouth when he had four solo tackles.

Credit: Son Nguyen

Now-captain running back Isaiah Malcome runs towards the end zone in his 2019 season.

Isaiah Malcolme, Running Back, 5-foot-5, 170 pounds

Malcolme's fifth year spent at Penn comes after a canceled 2020 season and a shortened 2019 season in which he only played one game due to an injury. After an impressive freshman season as a primary return man, Malcolme's role has broadened to be both a running back and a returner. 

In his one game in 2019, Malcolme was stellar — he finished with nine rushes for a total of 73 yards against Delaware and scored two touchdowns, one from a one-yard catch, and the other from a punt return of 69 yards. Despite limited games played, Malcolme is poised to have an impressive season at full health.

Trevor Radosevich, Offensive Lineman, 6-foot-4, 295 pounds

Radosevich debuted for the Quakers as a sophomore and appeared in all 10 games on the offensive line as the starting center. At the end of the 2019 season, the Penn offensive line ranked second in the Ivy League in sacks allowed per team.

Prince Emili, Defensive Lineman, 6-foot-2, 275 pounds

One of the faces of Penn football, star defender Emili is set to have the big season that he should have had in 2020. Emili missed his entire freshman season due to an injury and didn't receive regular playing time until his third year. Once he began starting consistently, Emili quickly raced up the Quakers' defensive depth chart. He was named first team All-Ivy in 2019, finishing with 65 tackles, and he ranked second in the Ivy League in tackles for loss.

If it were not for the COVID-19 pandemic, Emili likely would have added another first team All-Ivy accolade to his trophy case — as it stands, he's looking to take full advantage of his sixth year at Penn.

“With the way the Ivy League is set up with no playoffs or anything, I know exactly when my college career is going to end,” Emili previously said to the DP. “Most people around the country can’t say something like that, but since it’s so definitive, you can kind of feel the end coming with each passing practice. I’ve tried to take it slow and enjoy the process and enjoy camp and enjoy each practice.”

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