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Freshman running back Malachi Hosley runs into the end zone during this season's matchup against Georgetown on Oct. 7. Credit: Ethan Young

In the 147-year history of Penn football, three decades may not seem like a very long time. But after a 30-year drought, the Ivy League Rookie of the Year trophy is returning to Franklin Field.

On Monday, freshman running back Malachi Hosley was named the Ancient Eight’s ROTY — the first for the Quakers since Miles Macik in 1993. Despite recording just eight carries over the Quakers’ first three games, Hosley’s final tally of 723 rushing yards was good for second in the Ivy League, while his seven rushing touchdowns tied for third.

Hosley was also named First Team All-Ivy, one of 13 Quakers to be recognized. 

*Academic All-Ivy Selection

Hosley‘s ROTY recognition comes after a freshman season that was as impressive as it was unexpected. Coming into the season, he ranked fourth on the running back depth chart for the Red and Blue, and did not receive a carry in the season-opener. But as the season progressed, Hosley’s workload ramped up, and his talent became impossible to deny.

The Columbus, Ga. native made program history multiple times during his freshman campaign. He won more Ivy League weekly honors than any other Quaker, racking up six total, including five Rookie of the Week awards. 

The sixth award came after Hosley’s explosive performance against Cornell when he rushed for 261 yards and two touchdowns, including a 96-yard score that was the longest offensive play in program history. Following that game, Hosley was named Ivy Offensive Player of the Week, as well as FedEx Ground FCS National Freshman of the Week. Hosley was also recently selected as one of 22 finalists for the Jerry Rice award, which recognizes the FCS Freshman of the Year.

Last Saturday, Penn football’s season ended on a sour note with a 31-24 loss to Princeton. The Quakers ultimately finished with a 3-4 record in the Ancient Eight, good for fifth in the conference. But if such recognition for Hosley and the rest of the team is any indication, sweeter days are on the horizon.