PHILADELPHIA - As the 2012 University of Pennsylvania football season nears, this year's team took its necessary first steps on Monday, reporting to the Jack LeFort Football Office Complex in Weightman Hall to signal the start of preseason camp. The Quakers begin practice at Franklin Field on Tuesday night.
A busy day begins with the players check-in on Monday morning before shuttling off for physicals, equipment fitting and a number of meetings touching on topics with the strength and conditioning and compliance staffs. After a team dinner, players will gather together for the season's first team meeting before breaking out into smaller groups for positional meetings.
There will be 28 scheduled practices for Penn leading up to the Sept. 15 season opener at Lafayette. The team will be in helmets on Tuesday and Wednesday and upper pads on Thursday and Friday. Saturday will be the first day of full pads and Sunday is the first of five two-a-days for the Quakers.
Penn, which finished second in the Ivy League in 2011 (5-5, 4-3 Ivy), returns 39 letterwinners, including 17 starters and three All-Ivy honorees. Eight starters will return from the Ivies third-highest scoring offense and seven starters are back from the league's second-ranked rushing defense. Both specialists - punter Scott Lopano and kicker Connor Loftus - will also return for the Quakers.
Penn begins its quest for the program's 16th Ivy League title against the Leopards at 6 p.m. on Sept. 15. The season opener can be seen on RCN in the Philadelphia area. A week later, the 2012 home opener is Sept. 22 in another edition of the Schuylkill Showdown with city rival Villanova at 3:30 p.m. That game will be televised locally on Comcast and for those outside the area, the game will be webcast on the Penn Sports Network.