PHILADELPHIA - Following a second consecutive unbeaten Ivy League campaign, the University of Pennsylvania football team received a team-record 21 selections to the All-Ivy teams as announced by the league office on Tuesday, including nine first-team members and all of Penn's starting offensive linemen.
Three offensive linemen were named first-team All-Ivy - seniors Joseph D'Orazio and Luis Ruffolo and junior Greg Van Roten. Sophomore quarterback Billy Ragone and senior fullback Luke DeLuca joined the trio on the first-team All-Ivy offense, while on the defensive side the linebacker duo of junior Erik Rask and senior Zach Heller were joined by senior Josh Powers and sophomore Brandon Copeland on the first team.
The nine selections were more than any other Ivy team and the most first-team All-Ivy members for the Quakers since the 2003 team set an Ivy record with 12 first-team picks.
Four first-time recipients were among the All-Ivy second team honorees in offensive lineman Drew Luongo, sophomore running back Brandon Colavita, defensive lineman Drew Goldsmith and defensive back Matt Hamscher.
Eight more Quakers were named All-Ivy honorable mention, including senior Bradford Blackmon on two occasions. Bradford was an honorable mention defensive back as well as an honorable mention return specialist and was joined on that list by sophomore tight end Luke Nawrocki, senior defensive lineman Brian Wing, senior defensive back Brian Levine, senior kicker Andrew Samson, sophomore punter Scott Lopano and senior offensive lineman Jared Mollenbeck.
The 21 overall All-Ivy selections were the most of any Ivy team and topped the old Penn record of 18 set in 2002, 2006 and 2009. It's the first time all five Penn linemen were named All-Ivy since the 2003 team accomplished the feat.
It was the second first-team selection for D'Orazio and the second overall for both Ruffolo and Van Roten. The offensive line helped Penn lead the Ivy League in total offense, rushing offense, scoring and fewest sacks allowed. Only two teams in the country allowed fewer sacks than Penn's six and only five teams in the FCS rushed for more yards than Penn's 310.82 yards per game.
DeLuca, who was a second-team All-Ivy honoree last season, was also a key blocker for the Red and Blue in addition to 146 rushing yards, 65 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Behind DeLuca and Penn's five linemen, Colavita led the team in scoring with 12 rushing touchdowns and ran for 728 yards on 125 carries for an average of 5.8 yards per carry, which stands as the second-best single-season total in school history (Chris Flynn at 6.2 in 1986).
Colavita finished fourth in the Ivy League in rushing, while Ragone finished fifth. Ragone also added seven rushing scores and six passing touchdowns in addition to 834 passing yards. Nawrocki was one of Ragone's top targets. In addition to his blocking duties, the tight end finished third on the team with 18 receptions and 184 receiving yards.
On the defensive side, linebackers Rask and Heller finished first and third on the team, respectively, in tackles. The linebackers, along with defensive linemen Wing, Goldsmith and Copeland, led a defense that boasted the second-best rush defense in the country. Rask was second on the team with 8.0 tackles for loss and four pass breakups, while Heller added 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks. The trio of linemen had a combined 92 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.
Levine garnered his second career All-Ivy recognition, while Powers and Hamscher earned their first All-Ivy distinction's as they manned the defensive backfield for a Red and Blue unit that finished atop the Ivy League in total defense, scoring defense and sacks. Powers was second on the team in tackles and interceptions and led the team with six passes defended. Hamscher, in his first season as a defensive back, had a team-high 4.5 sacks and was fourth on the team in tackles. Levine started all 10 games and was sixth on the team in tackles and second with four pass breakups.
Blackmon started at cornerback in all 10 games for the fifth-best defense in the nation. He also starred on special teams, totaling a team-best 739 yards of total offense. He averaged 11.2 yards per punt return, taking one 53 yards for a touchdown in a seven-point win at Yale. His 26.93 kickoff return average ranked second in the Ivy League.
Samson and Lopano served as Penn's other key special teams contributors. This is Samson's third career All-Ivy honor. He finished as the school's all-time leading scorer and holds numerous career records at Penn. He was second on the team in scoring in 2010 and capped his career by scoring in all 40 career games. Lopano was fourth in the league in punting, had two punts over 50 yards and pinned 11 inside the 20-yard line.
The 2010 Player of the Year will not be announced until Monday, December 6 at the Ivy League's first-ever Asa S. Bushnell Cup Presentation co-hosted by the National Football Foundation. The presentation will be 11:30 a.m. in the Hilton Room at the Waldrof-Astoria in New York City. Coaches, administrators and football alumni from all eight Ivy schools are welcome to attend this presentation.