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By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After a 5-5 2011 season, the Penn Quakers are hoping to jump back up to their familiar place at the top of Ivy League in 2012. To that end, the Quakers just wrapped up their series of spring practice sessions and head coach Al Bagnoli says they got a lot out of the workouts.
“We’ve had a chance to evaluate a lot of young kids, put them in all kinds of different scenarios. Put them in with officials there, put them in scrimmage situations, put them in all different kinds of predicaments and overall we’ve been happy with their progress.”
Bagnoli breaks down the status of the defense coming out of the spring.
“We were trying to look at our defensive line situation. I think we have (two-time first-team All-Ivy selection) Brandon Copeland, who obviously is a fixture, but we wanted to try and get some depth there and I think our younger kids there have done a nice job. We were looking to solidify our inside linebacker position and I think our young freshman and sophomore have done a nice job there. And then we were looking to get some depth in the secondary. And then, once again, we moved some kids from tailback to safety and I thought those kids acquitted themselves very well.”
On offense, Bagnoli says they are rich in returning players.
“We did not lose a running back and we get Lyle Marsh back (from injury). We only lost one wide receiver and we get Connor Scott back (from injury). We lost one tight end and we lost one offensive lineman and everybody else is back. So we just have a wealth of experience, we were really young last year.”
Listen to KYW’s Matt Leon’s interview with Al Bagnoli:
Even with that experience, the Quakers did have things they wanted to develop within the offensive unit.
“We wanted some depth in the offensive line,” Bagnoli says. “We wanted to solidify our tight end position which I think we’ve done. And I think we wanted to bring along some young wide receivers and I think we managed to do that as well.”
The Quakers will begin the 2012 season on the road on September 15th as they visit Lafayette.