PHILADELPHIA - Senior captains Greg Van Roten and Erik Rask were unanimous First-Team All-Ivy selections for the University of Pennsylvania football team. Senior wideout Ryan Calvert and junior defensive lineman Brandon Copeland were also first team picks. In all, there were nine Quakers among the 2011 All-Ivy honorees.
Senior defensive lineman Jared Sholly and senior defensive back Matt Hamscher earned second-team accolades, while junior offensive lineman Joe Bonadies, junior running back Brandon Colavita and senior tight end Luke Nawrocki garnered honorable mention status.
Rask, a linebacker, and Van Roten, an offensive lineman, were each honorable mention All-Ivy as sophomores and were both first team selections in 2010. This year, they are the first Quakers to be on every single first-team All-Ivy ballot since tight end Chris Mizell and offensive lineman Sean Estrada accomplished the feat five years ago.
Rask had one of the best defensive seasons at Penn in recent memory. After leading the team in tackles with 65 last season, Rask finished with 83 stops in 2011 - the most at Penn since 2006 when Joe Anastasio had 102. Rask, who finished with 190 career tackles, also had 11.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions, six pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 2011. He scored his first collegiate touchdown in his final game with a 30-yard interception return.
Van Roten started all 10 games on the offensive line. He was forced to switch between the tackle and guard position midway through the year due to injuries, but due to his versatility, Penn's offense did not miss a beat. The Quakers finished with third-best scoring offense in the Ivy League and allowed the third-fewest sacks in the league.
Calvert earned his first All-Ivy honor. He finished second in the Ivies with 58 receptions and fourth in the league with 641 receiving yards. Calvert combined for 20 catches in his final two games to finish with the eighth-highest single season reception total in Penn history, and the most since Dan Castles caught 71 passes in 2003. Calvert's five receiving touchdowns this season moved him into a tie for ninth all-time in Penn's single-season history books.
Copeland is a first-team All-Ivy player for the second straight year. He was second on the team with a career high 51 tackles and added 6.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, a forced fumble and a 15-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in the two-point win at Dartmouth (Oct. 1).
In addition to Rask and Copeland, Penn's second-ranked Ivy run defense was aided by Sholly and Hamscher. Sholly was top five in the league in sacks (6.0) and tackles for loss (14.0), and was fourth on the team with 45 tackles. Hamscher was a second-team All-Ivy pick last year and earned that same spot this season with 51 tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. He finished his career at Penn with a passing touchdown, rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown and a defensive touchdown.
Nawrocki is a three-time All-Ivy honoree. This is the second selection for Colavita and the first such accolade for Bonadies. Nawrocki started all 10 games for the Quakers at tight end. He was fourth on the team with a career high 20 receptions and 192 receiving yards, which includded a fourth-quarter touchdown catch in the come-from-behind win over Yale on Oct. 22.
Nawrocki was an instrumental run blocker, along with Bonadies, who started all 10 games at right tackle. Bonadies protected the blindside of quarterback Billy Ragone, who went on to finish with the fifth-best offensive season in team history with 2,284 total yards. Meanwhile, Colavita led the team in rushing with 665 yards and four touchdowns, including a career high 156 yards in the win over Yale.
Penn's senior class finished their careers with a 28-12 record overall, including a 23-5 mark against the Ivy League. They won two Ivy League titles, were just the third team to ever put together back-to-back undefeated Ivy seasons, and won 18 consecutive Ivy League games - the second-longest streak in league history.