Thirteen Quakers Earn All Ivy League Honors; Two Named First-Team

Ivy League Release

PHILADELPHIA – Thirteen members of the University of Pennsylvania football team garnered All-Ivy League honors Wednesday morning, as voted on by the League’s coaches. Seniors Ric San Doval and Michael Johns were first-team selections, while fellow senior Jim Malizia earned a second-team nod.

Seven defenders, five offensive players and one specialist made the 2005 All-Ivy list. Ten of the student-athletes selected will return for the Red and Blue next season.

"I am very proud of Ric and Mike. They are both deserving of this honor," Head Coach Al Bagnoli said. "I think the fact that 10 of our All-Ivy players return for next season give us something to build upon as we look to prepair for the 2006 season."

San Doval, a defensive lineman, led the Quakers and finished fourth in the League with 90 tackles, including 47 solo. It is the most tackles in a season since John Bishop had 111 stops in 1997. The Allison Park, Pa. native finished his career with four-straight double- digit tackles. He made 17 stops against Brown and had a career-high 18 against Cornell. San Doval had three sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss and three fumble recoveries, which was tied for League best. He was a first-team honoree in 2003 and an honor mention selection in 2002.

Johns was one of the best cornerbacks in the Ancient Eight this season. He had 33 stops, including 27 solo. The Silver Springs, Md. native had 2 tackles for a loss, one fumble recovery and a blocked kick. Johns returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown in the Quakers’ season opener against Duquesne and blocked a field goal against Harvard. He led the Ancient Eight with 12 pass breakups and was third in the League in passes defended with 13. This is Johns’ second All-Ivy nod, as he received honorable mention honors in 2004.

Penn had five second team selections, all first-time honorees - Joe Sandberg (RB), Anthony Melillo (P), Marko Grzan (OL), Jim Malizia (DE) and Naheem Harris (DL). Sandberg was ninth in the League in rushing and seventh in all-purpose yards. Against Villanova, the Oradell, N.J. native ran for 104 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown, while making seven catches for 99 yards. He recorded 100 or more all-purpose yards in four of nine games played this season. Melillo had the second-best punting average in the League ( 38.1 yards per punt). He pinned the ball inside the 20-yard line 17 times and punted 50 or more yards five times. He made a career-long 64-yarder against Bucknell on Oct. 8. Grzan started in all 10 games and made two tackles against Bucknell and Brown.

Malizia led the League in sacks with six, including 2.5 against Dartmouth. He also had 37 tackles (17 solo) and 10 tackles for a combined loss of 60 yards. Harris made 25 stops, including 10 solo. He also had six tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks.

Six Quakers were tabbed honorable mention - Chris Mizell (TE), Don Snyder (OL), Sean Estrada (OL), Brian Fairbanks (DL), Kory Gedin (LB) and Scotty Williams (DB). Mizell and Snyder are two-time honorable mention selections. Estrada started all 10 games on the offensive line, while Snyder made seven starts before an injury against Brown sidelined him for the season. Also on the offensive side of the ball, Mizell had 17 catches for 209 yards and three touchdowns. On the defensive side, Fairbanks made 36 stops, including eight tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Fairbanks blocked an extra-point kick against Columbia. Gedin had 65 tackles this season including 28 solo stops. He had 9.5 tackles for a combined loss of 36 yards. He also had three sacks, an interception against Bucknell and a pass breakup against Cornell. Williams led the League in fumbles forced with three and had 45 tackles (34 solo). He ran back two interceptions for TDs, against Bucknell and Brown, and against the Bison he ran in a two-point conversion. Williams blocked a kick in the season opener against Duquesne.

The members of the Class of 2006 posted an overall record of 32-8 in their four-year careers, whichis fourth best in the modern era of Penn football. The Class of 2005 has the all-time best winning percentage (in the modern era for both Penn and the Ivy League) after posting a 35-4 record (.897).

Written by Heather Palmer, associate director of athletic communications