Brandon Copeland participates in NFL Regional Combine

Saturday morning, Penn senior DE Brandon Copeland participated in the final NFL Regional Combines of the draft season in his hometown of Baltimore.

Though he didn't PR in any events after a solid Pro Day performance last Monday at Villanova, he still said it was "a good day," and he "did well in everything and was still a leader for the day." That said, he still knows he can perform better and hopes to do so at the Eagles local workout in April and potentially at the NFL Super Regional combine April 7 in Dallas. He will learn this week whether or not he receives an invitation.

As one of just four defensive ends registered for the Baltimore Combine, Copeland said he did the majority of his drills at outside linebacker. He's hoping to be a 3-4 combo DE/OLB, so doing these drills wasn't unexpected. He said he did well in the first half of defensive line drills then was bumped to linebacker.

Video from Baltimore isn't available yet, but here's video of Copeland from Villanova's pro day:

We'll continue to track the progress of Copeland and teammates Joe Bonadies (OL) and Scott Lopano (P).

Copeland, Bonadies and Lopano happy with pro day performance

After getting an early start to the morning — Villanova's Pro Day started at 7 a.m. and they had left campus by 5:45 — Penn football seniors Brandon Copeland, Joe Bonadies and Scott Lopano are happy with how they performed.

At least four NFL scouts were in attendance — the Saints, Seahawks, Chiefs and Eagles — according to a tweet sent by Copeland's agent Ed Wasielewski. All three are very happy with their performances and posted personal bests in multiple drills. Bonadies said they all had PRs in bench and broad jump. Lopano, who garnered particular interest punting for a Seattle scout, said they "turned some heads," and Copeland added that they "definitely impressed some people today." Copeland noted that he did the most drills out of any of the participants today since he worked out at defensive end and linebacker, and said he was proudest of his linebacker drills and broad jump. Full results are after the jump.

So what's next? Copeland has a chance to improve upon his performance today — he was a touch slower than he had hoped on his 40 and said he slipped on the turf in the 20-yard shuttle — but it's a bit of a waiting game for now. The ultimate would be to hear from teams that want to bring them in, because then they'll know for sure they have interest. Here's what they had to say last week: Continue reading

More from NFL Pro Day prep

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday of last week with Penn football seniors Brandon Copeland, Joe Bonadies and Scott Lopano, observing their workouts and getting a feel for what their expectations are for Monday's Pro Day at Villanova and the draft/free agency progress. There was a lot of information that didn't make it into Monday's story, so I wanted to make sure it got out.

At Tuesday's workout, Copeland was working with Penn quarterback Ryan Becker, who had just been cleared for spring workouts after tearing his ACL last summer and missing all of the 2012 season. Becker has a rocket for an arm, which is exactly what Copeland will get at Monday's pro day and Saturday's Ravens Combine during linebacker drills. Quarterback Billy Ragone, defensive back Justyn Williams and Lopano have all played QB for Copeland the past few weeks, but Becker challenges him the most. Copeland looked good, missing just two catches out of at least 40 over the course of the workout. He's been working under the guidance of strength and conditioning coach Steven Brindle and Copeland's agent, Ed Wasielewski.

He runs routes, first as a walk-through, then halfspeed and twice at full speed. Then he does it all again in the opposite direction. After one route, he says to Becker, "If I can do these, I can do anything." He does them with ease. Then he moves on to defensive line drills, perfecting the motions that he's done day in and day out for years. Becker encourages him. "Hit it!" he yells. "You can hit harder than that!" Continue reading

Three to participate in NFL Pro Day, Regional Combines

As has become typical of the Penn football team, three seniors will participate in pro days to showcase their skills to NFL scouts this spring. No Quakers were invited to this weekend's Combine, but DL Brandon Copeland, OL Joe Bonadies and P Scott Lopano are working toward playing at the next level.

For the first time in several years, Penn will not host its own pro day. Rather, the players are opting to attend Villanova's pro day on Mar. 18, hoping to gain some attention from scouts visiting Wildcats wide receiver Norman White.

In addition, Copleand and Bonadies will separately participate in NFL Regional Combines. Bonadies, a Leonia, N.J., native, will attend the N.Y. Jets' Regional Combine on Mar. 2, while Copeland will go to the Baltimore Ravens' Regional Combine on Mar. 22. Copeland is a Baltimore native himself, and his grandfather was drafted by and won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Colts.

UPDATE: Lopano is also participating in two additional specialist combines. The first is Mar. 1-3 in Phoenix with specialist kicking coach Gary Zauner and the second is Mar. 9-14 at Florida Atlantic University with coach Mike Husted. Continue reading

2013 Penn football banquet recap

On Friday, Penn football held its annual postseason banquet to celebrate the team’s 2012 Ivy League championship, honor the seniors, and hand out the individual awards to the outstanding performers from 2012. Here is a rundown of who took home the accolades from Friday night:

Edgar Church Memorial Award (Biggest Overall Contributor)
The team’s letterwinners voted for senior quarterback Billy Ragone to receive the Edgar Church Memorial Award. Ragone started nine games for the 2012 Ivy League champions. The honorable mention All-Ivy quarterback ranked sixth in the Ivy League in total offense, seventh in passing yards and ninth in rushing. He finished the season 118-of-210 passing for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns, while also rushing for 476 yards and four touchdowns to lead the team with 1,764 yards of total offense.

Chuck Bednarik Award (Most outstanding offensive and defensive linemen)
Senior offensive lineman Joe Bonadies and senior defensive tackle Taylor Brown took home the Chuck Bednarik Award for their fantastic work in the trenches this season. Bonadies was a first-team All-Ivy and Academic All-Ivy selection, as he started all 10 games at right tackle for the second consecutive season. Brown started all 10 games on the defensive side for the second straight year, recording three sacks along with eight tackles for loss.

George Munger Award (Offensive and Defensive Most Valuable Players)
Named after Penn's Hall of Fame coach, the George Munger Award was given to senior running back Lyle Marsh and senior captain Brandon Copeland. Marsh was a second-team All-Ivy selection as he led Penn and finished eighth in the Ivy League in rushing with 515 yards, finding the endzone six times. He also led Penn with 791 all-purpose yards, while his 5.4 yards per carry ranked fifth all-time at Penn in a single season. Copeland was Penn's first solo captain in 15 years and was named first-team All-Ivy. The defensive lineman led Penn and finished seventh in the Ivy League with five sacks and was second on the team with 8.5 tackles for loss.

Reds Bagnell Award (Unsung Heroes)
Senior tight end Ryan Allen and senior linebacker Steve Lias were handed the Reds Bagnell Award, named after Hall of Fame running back Francis (Reds) Bagnell. Allen played in all 10 games and finished the season with nine catches for 107 yards and 11.9 yards per catch. Lias started all 10 games for the Quakers, finishing with 43 tackles on the year in addition to three tackles for loss and two sacks.

George A. Weiss Award (Demonstrating “Pennsylvania kind of football”)
Junior offensive lineman Chris Bush
was honored to receive the George A. Weiss Award, given to the player who best displays the toughness and determination that represents the "Pennsylvania kind of football." Bush was a second-team All-Ivy selection and Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area honoree. He started nine games at center for the Ivy League champions and played through injury during most of Penn's season-ending four-game winning streak.

Football Club Award (Distinct Athletic Achievement)
The Football Club Award was given to junior wide receiver Conner Scott on offense, senior cornerback Dave Twamley on defense, and senior punter Scott Lopano on special teams. Sophomore tight end Mitchell King and sophomore linebacker Dan Davis also received the award as offensive and defensive rookies. Scott had 52 receptions for 691 yards and five touchdowns in 2012. Twamley earned second-team All-Ivy and Academic All-Area honors as he led the team with 43 solo tackles. Lopano set Penn's career records for punts (184) and punt yards (7,111), while King played in all 10 games and finished with six catches for 90 yards and two touchdowns.

 Coach Lake Award (Leadership, Team Spirit, and Penn Pride)
Awarded for the first time in 2010, the Lake Award is presented in honor of Coach Dan "Lake" Staffieri, a team motivator for 33 seasons. Senior running back Jeff Jack was the recipient of the award for the 2012 season. Jack played in all 10 games, starting the last seven for the Red and Blue. He ran for 413 yards and had four rushing touchdowns on the season.

Man of the Year Award
Along with the awards given to the athletes, Hench Murray, C'66, GEd'67, was named the Man of the Year for his continued dedication to and support of Penn's football program. Murray played baseball while attending Penn, and has served as the color analyst for the football team for 33 seasons.

Five Penn players named first team All-Ivy

The Ivy League office today announced its All-Ivy teams, and five Penn players were named to the first team: DL Brandon Copeland, P Scott Lopano, OL Joe Bonadies, LB Dan Davis and DB Sebastian Jaskowski.

This is Copeland's third time on the first-team, something only 39 other players have done in the past (Brown DB AJ Cruz also earned his third first-team nod). He has a shot at being named one of the defensive finalists for Ivy Player of the Year, which will be announced next Tuesday.

None of Penn's first-team picks were unanimous selections. Also, Penn was outdone in first-team picks by Harvard, which had 10 first team All-Ivy nods and 19 total.

Eight others were named to the second team or honorable mention. Click the jump to see those: Continue reading

Three Up, Three Down: The Dartmouth Edition

We're excited to have a new segment on The Buzz called Three Up, Three Down, in which we predict three players whose stock will rise and fall over the course of upcoming games.

Look for the following threesome to be thriving after Penn's Ivy opener at Dartmouth on Saturday:

Three Up —

Billy Ragone: Quite simply, this is Ragone’s time. He found his groove in Dartmouth’s backyard last year after a slow start, and it would be no coincidence if he were to do it again Saturday. The Big Green ranked dead last in the Ivy League in rushing defense a year ago, and they can be expected to once again set Ragone up to tuck and run. That usually translates into a more confident aerial attack from him.

Continue reading

Copeland and Ragone want YOU to come to the Penn-Villanova game

As much as I hate to admit it, Penn Athletics has been pouring out some GEMS this week in preparation for this Saturday's home football opener versus Villanova.

First, a message from seniors Brandon Copeland and Billy Ragone:

If Skimmer and more than a 100-year rivalry aren't enough to get you down to Franklin Field, fans will have the opportunity to pose with the Heisman and Outland trophies before the game. Just like the football, sprint football, basketball and cheer teams did (and also one DPOSTM football writer, David Greenbaum).

Courtesy Penn Athletics

More from Monday’s Media Day

You can read my column and Mikey Wiz's notebook on thedp.com/sports, but here are a few tidbits about the upcoming season we couldn't fit in:

  • Alternate uniforms: The Quakers went all- Nike in their gear, including new alternate uniforms. Senior WR Joe Holder discussed it a bit on his video yesterday, but here's some more from him:

Quite frankly I love them, they’re pretty stylish to say the least. With all the new gear that Nike gives, they finally got a little modern in their pro cut, which is great for receivers- it makes it easier to catch … It’s all about if you look good you play good, and the team seems to like the uniforms so we can’t complain.

Everybody pretty much enjoys all Nike stuff, especially with the warmup gear, it becomes more of loungewear too because it’s pretty stylish as opposed to some of the other stuff. But we won’t complain, just happy to get what’s given to us. Nike, they’re the best in the business, so if we switch to all Nike there’s nothing wrong with that.

No word yet on when the Quakers will wear the red alternates, though. Continue reading

Penn football earns 4 first-team All-Ivy picks

The Ivy League announced its football honors today, and four Quakers made first-team All-Ivy — two of which were unanimous selections.

Senior linebacker Erik Rask and offensive lineman Greg Van Roten were Penn's first unanimous selections to the All-Ivy team since Chris Mizell and Sean Estrada in 2006.

Wide receiver Ryan Calvert was named first-team after a breakout year with 58 receptions for 641 yards, becoming quarterback Billy Ragone's favorite target this season. He had 65 total yards on six catches in his career before this season.

Junior defensive lineman Brandon Copeland was a first-team pick for the second-consecutive year.

Other Quakers getting honors: senior defensive lineman Jared Sholley (2nd team), senior defensive back Matt Hamscher (2nd team), junior offensive lineman Joe Bonadies (honorable mention), junior running back Brandon Colavita (HM) and senior tight end Luke Nawrocki (HM).

The full Ivy honors list is after the jump. Continue reading