By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Brandon Copeland put together a fantastic career as the anchor of the defensive line at the University of Pennsylvania.  Now one of the Ivy League’s best is headed to the NFL after signing with the Baltimore Ravens as a rookie free agent.

“After the workout with them a few weeks back, we had a really good workout, got a really good vibe from them,” Copeland tells KYW Newsradio.  “They’ve been calling my agent and keeping in really close contact.  So we kind of got the hint that the Ravens were very, very interested.”

(credit: University Of Pennsylvania Athletics)

(credit: University Of Pennsylvania Athletics)

Copeland was a three-time, first-team, All-Ivy selection with Penn.  While he was a standout defensive lineman, he says the Ravens think his future in the NFL lies at a different position.

“They see me playing MIKE (middle) linebacker actually, so it’s a completely different position,” Copeland says.  “A nice switch, but that keeps it exciting for me.  Gives me a different set of challenges this year and obviously I’m up for them.  But I also hope to help them out in other areas, special teams, tight end, fullback, outside linebacker, defensive end, and just help back some guys up or do whatever I can to help out the team.”

The Sykesville, Maryland, native finished his career at Penn with 160 tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks, but he is quick to point out that his time with the Quakers was about much more than stats.

“I became a man here,” Copeland says.  “I matured on and off the field a lot.  The best year for me was definitely this past year.  I was captain this year (Penn’s first solo captain since 1997), and it was a very, very interesting year.  We went 6-4, at one point in the season we were 1-4, so we had to have a huge reality check, for the team to be able have the character to win the last four games straight against the four best teams in the Ivy League (and win the title), when no one thought we would.”

The Quakers’ Ivy League title in 2012 was their third in Copeland’s four-year career.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.

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