PHILADELPHIA - Three-time Ivy champion and former Penn football team captain Brandon Copeland W'13is set to make his regular season NFL debut on Sunday with the Detroit Lions. Copeland was officially named to the 53-man roster on Friday night.
"This is totally new territory for me, and not in a shocked and scared way, but in a way that I'm happy and smiling because it's pretty amazing," Copeland told the Daily Pennsylvanian.
"This is an incredible accomplishment for Brandon and we are so proud of him," said head coach Ray Priore. "It was a long journey, but he worked extremely hard and has earned every bit of this opportunity. The Detroit Lions have added a great player and a class act to their organization. We are looking forward to watching him on Sundays."
Copeland is ready to become the first Penn player to suit up on the sideline for an NFL regular season game since offensive lineman Greg Van Roten spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons with the Green Bay Packers, which included two playoff game appearances in his first season.
A three-time first-team All-Ivy selection at Penn, Copeland was signed by the Baltimore Ravens after his senior season and also spent time on the practice squad with the Tennessee Titans before making the final roster in Detroit this year.
In 2012, Copeland was named the first solo captain for Penn football in 15 years, and led the Quakers to the Ivy title that season. In all, he played in the final 39 games of his career, including 30-straight starts in his last three seasons. The Gillman School product and Sykesville, Md., native finished his college career with 160 tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss, 11.0 sacks, four pass breakups, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, a blocked kick, an interception, a touchdown and a safety.
During Copeland's time at Penn, the Quakers finished with a record of 28-12 (70.0%), including an impressive mark of 24-4 (85.7%) against the Ivy League and a 12-1 (92.3%) record against Ivy opponents at Franklin Field. His senior class was also a part of back-to-back undefeated Ivy seasons (just the third time that's ever happened), and won 18 consecutive Ivy League games - the second-longest streak in league history.
Copeland and the Lions will be in San Diego to take on the Chargers at 4:05pm EST. The game will be televised on FOX. Check local listings.