Although Penn’s college football season is nearly four months away, it is not too early to take a close look at some of the outstanding returning players. Penn has five listed in its 2010 spring football prospectus as top all-America and all Ivy League candidates.
Last year’s Penn team went 8-2 overall and 7-0 in the Ivy League to capture the first league football crown for the Quakers since 2003.
Among those five returning all-America and all-Ivy League candidates are:
Joe D’Orazio: A returning senior on the offensive line. He was first-team all-Ivy League last year and started all 10 games for the Quakers. Penn gave up just six sacks in the final nine games and allowed the fewest sacks in the Ivy League. D’Orazio was part of an offensive line that finished third in the Ivy League in rushing at just under 150 yards a game.
Zach Heller: A senior linebacker, Heller started al 10 games for the Quakers last season. He was second on the team with 55 tackles, had nine tackles for loss and had 5.5 sacks. Penn finished the season ranked tops in the nation in total defense and scoring defense and was at the top of the Ivy League in every major defensive category. Heller was second-team all-Ivy League in 2009.
Josh Powers: A senior defensive back, Powers was third on the team in 2009 with 52 tackles and he started all 10 games for the Quakers. He was fourth on team with four pass breakups and tallied a career-best 10 tackles against Lafayette last year. He also had an interception in a game against Bucknell in 2009.
Luis Ruffolo: A senior offensive lineman, Ruffolo was second team all-Ivy League last year. He played in all 10 games and started eight contests for the Quakers.
Andrew Samson: A senior kicker for the Quakers, Samson was first-team all-Ivy League last season. He played and scored in all 10 games in 2009 for the third straight season. He led all Ivy League kickers in scoring with 58 points in 2009. He kicked 11 field goals last season and was perfect on all 25 of his extra-point attempts. Samson kicked a career-long 45-yard field goal in the season finale against Cornell.
Penn’s 2010 Football Schedule:
Sept. 18 Lafayette
Sept. 25 at Villanova
Oct. 2 Dartmouth *
Oct. 9 at Bucknell
Oct. 16 Columbia *
Oct. 23 at Yale *
Oct. 30 Brown *
Nov. 6 at Princeton*
Nov. 13 Harvard*
Nov. 20 at Cornell*
* = Ivy League Game