PHILADELPHIA - Defensive lineman Brandon Copeland was selected by his teammates to serve as team captain of the 2012 University of Pennsylvania football team, as announced by head coach Al Bagnoli on Thursday. Copeland is just Penn's second sole captain since 1977.
Former All-Ivy safety John Bishop, W'97, was Penn's last sole captain, in 1997. He and Copeland are the only two Quakers to independently hold the Penn football captaincy in the past 35 years. In 1977, former All-Ivy standout Mike Daley, W'78, held that honor.
"We could not be happier," Bagnoli said of the team's selection of Copeland. "Brandon embodies everything we would want in a team captain. He has such strong characteristics and work ethic that our players really defer to him and his personality. Brandon has such a polished interpersonal skill set; whetherhe's talking tothe head coach or a walk-on, he is personal, professional and embracing. He connects with everyone."
Copeland, who has played in 29 straight games for the Quakers, is already a two-time All-Ivy honoree as he enters his senior season. He first earned the distinction as a sophomore after he started all 10 games and finished fifth in the Ivy League with a team-high 10.0 tackles for loss.
The Sykesville, Md., native was a popular preseason All-America pick prior to his junior year and finished with a career-high 51 tackles, second on the team behind Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year finalist Erik Rask.
In his first three seasons, Copeland has amassed 109 tackles for the Quakers including 18.0 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks. The three-year letterwinner has also recorded two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one interception, and a touchdown over his career.
The coaching staff will select game captains to join Copeland each week. The first time he and his teammates will walk out to the 50-yard line for the opening coin toss will be on Sept. 15 when the Quakers open the 2012 campaign at Lafayette. Penn's first home game is set for a week later, Sept. 22, against cross-city rival Villanova in another edition of the Schuylkill Showdown.