Last season, Penn’s offensive line consisted of one returning star and four question marks. This year, the line returns four starters, all but eliminating the lack of game-time experience problem.
When integrating new players into the team, coach Al Bagnoli and the Penn coaching staff employ a system which allows freshmen to work their way into the lineup starting with special teams reps.
Ivy secondaries have struggled to defend a multiplicity of talented wide receivers. These pass-catchers will determine whether or not moving the ball through the air continues its upswing in the Ancient Eight.
The Quakers come into 2012 with unusual depth at offensive skill positions, lots of new names on defense, and a chip on shoulders all around.
Unlike some of its non-conference opponents, Penn does not provide athletic scholarships, putting the Quakers at a disadvantage.
In the offseason, junior defensive back Dan Wilk became a match to donate bone marrow through the football team’s annual “Be the Match” program.
While new backup quarterback Andrew Holland has no proven record to point to, the senior has practiced in Penn’s system for three full years and should perform well if and when he’s called upon.
Van Roten, a 2012 graduate, recently signed a deal with the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad after participating in the team’s training camp.
Quarterback Billy Ragone, though good at times, faltered in last season’s most crucial moments. If Penn is to reclaim the Ivy crown, the success lies with the quarterback.
After losing 33 seniors and 11 All-Ivy players a year ago, the Quakers entered 2011 the preseason favorite, but an unprecedented third straight Ivy title eluded the Red and Blue. But players, many returning this year, gained valuable experience along the way.
Picked first in this year’s Ivy Preseason Media Poll, it’s Harvard that is now watching the Throne.
And the Quakers? They’re perfectly fine with that.
In fact, they’re better than fine.
Van Roten will attend the Packers training camp, which runs from Thursday, July 26, to Tuesday, August 28, and includes preseason games against the San Diego Chargers, the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Three seniors have been invited to participate in NFL camps this past week.
But when it came down to voting for the captain of the 2012 squad, only one player stood out: defensive end Brandon Copeland.
Four Penn football seniors showed off their skills Wednesday afternoon at Penn’s NFL pro day at Franklin Field.
Of the 1,696 players currently on NFL rosters, only six played their college ball in the Ivy League. If Erik Rask has his way, that number will be at least seven next season.
Rask had a stellar season for the Quakers, recording a team-high 83 total tackles. He also led Penn in passes defended, with eight on the season.
After capturing two consecutive Ivy League titles, expectations for the 2011 Quakers were sky high. But as the twin pillars of Penn football — defense and rushing — deteriorated, so too did the team’s chances for a title.
In a shootout at Franklin Field Saturday, Cornell notched its first victory over Penn football since 2006, winning the season finale, 48-38.
Four years. Four losses. The 19 outgoing seniors on the Penn football team have won 23 Ivy League games and lost just four in their time wearing the Red and Blue. They will strive to win one more game in a Penn uniform when they take on Cornell this Saturday at Franklin Field.