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

Penn football reveals its 2013 schedule

The road to defending the Ivy League title has been laid out: Penn football has unveiled its 2013 schedule.

The schedule features the same 10 teams the Quakers faced last year, beginning with a matchup against Lafayette at Franklin Field on Sep. 21. The Red and Blue’s other non-conference matchups are road games against Villanova on Sep. 28 and William & Mary on Oct. 12.

Penn plays its first Ivy League game on Oct. 5 against Dartmouth, against which the Quakers had their first win of the season in 2012. The Quakers have four home games and three road games in the Ancient Eight in 2013.

The homecoming game for Penn will be when Princeton visits Franklin Field on Nov. 9. The season ends with a road contest against Harvard followed by a Penn’s 95th meeting against Cornell to end the year.

The Red and Blue are looking to win their fourth Ivy title in five years, which would be an unprecedented feat. But before that happens, the Quakers have spring football, culminating in the Spring Game on April 6.

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

30 Seconds With… Greg Van Roten

Greg Van Roten (left) originally signed with the Packers practice squad but has since been moved to the active roster.

Those who watched the Giants crush the Packers on Sunday Night Football this week may have caught a glimpse of former Penn football player and current Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Greg Van Roten. As we wrote two weeks ago, the 2011 grad currently serves as a backup center and guard and is taking practice snaps with the first team (see story), but he's also been playing on special teams.

We took the time to question Van Roten on some of non-Packers questions in this edition of 30 Seconds With:

Do you have Aaron Rodgers’ cell phone number?
No, I don’t think anybody has that.

Best food in Green Bay?
Cheese Cake Heaven. We all go there for the sandwiches, but they’re famous for dessert.

What do you miss most about Penn?
Where do I start? All my friends mostly, but also being in a city like Philly. Never thought I’d say that, but it’s true. I miss Philly.

Best dancer on the team?
Donald Driver, he won Dancing with the Stars.

Tim Tebow or Mark Sanchez?
Ha, neither.

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

Holland receives Ivy League Offensive Player of Week honors

Two days after clinching the outright Ivy League title for the Quakers in his first career start, senior Andrew Holland received yet another award for his play against Cornell.

Holland was named the Ivy League’s Offensive Player of Week on Monday after finishing out the contest against the Big Red with two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing), and 255 passing yards.

He went 18-for-22 through the air, and came through when the Quakers needed him most.

With the game tied at 28, and the outright Ancient Eight crown on the line, Holland orchestrated a six play, 63-yard drive during which he completed all three of his passes for 38 yards, setting up a short touchdown run to take the lead.

His ability under pressure was evident at the end of the first half as
well. He drove the Quakers from their own 11 with just a minute
remaining in the half, and went 4-for-4 on the drive for 80 yards. The
drive culminated in a 41-yard touchdown pass to Jason Seifert.

The only other player on the Quakers to receive this honor this year
was fellow senior quarterback Billy Ragone.

Liveblog — Penn football vs. Cornell

Will Penn football win its third outright Ivy League title in four years? It all comes down to today's season finale in Ithaca, N.Y., where senior quarterback Andrew Holland will make his first and only career start for the Quakers (5-4, 5-1 Ivy) in place of injured QB Billy Ragone. Opposing him will be Jeff Mathews of Cornell (4-5, 2-4), who set an Ancient Eight record for passing yards against the Red and Blue a season ago at Franklin Field. Sports Editor Mike Wisniewski and staff writer Steven Jaffe bring you the action live:

This Week on 33rd Street: Nov. 16

Previewing our final Penn football game of the season, Senior Sports Ed. Megan Soisson, football writer John Phillips and I break down the Quakers' 30-21 win over Harvard (see story) and debate whether or not that momentum will carry over into Saturday's bout against Cornell in Ithaca with an outright Ivy League title on the line: