The Penn football team wrapped up its spring schedule with the Penn Football Quaker Showcase on Saturday afternoon.
The Quakers are coming off a 6-4 season and have made some major personnel changes. Here’s a look at where the team stands.
There’s a trio of new faces in the program.
Morris brings 30 years of college coaching experience to University City. He reunites with head coach Ray Priore and wide receivers coach Rick Ulrich, both of whom Morris coached with at the University of Albany in 1986. In 1987, Morris worked alongside Bob Benson, now Penn’s associate head coach and defensive coordinator. His most recent work was at Monmouth University, where he spent five seasons and helped lead the Hawks to a 2017 FCS Playoffs appearance.
The quarterbacks expressed their excitement with what Morris can bring to the program.
Q: How’s it feel to get back on the field, this time with a new offensive system?
Nick Robinson: “We’ve been installing the offense, and so far it’s been going real well. There’s some growing pains with learning something new, but it’s for the best and I feel very comfortable in this system and I really like it.”
Ryan Glover: “I feel good about it. I feel really good about our offense. I think we can be an explosive offense once we finally execute. I definitely think we have to work and work, and just get better at mastering the plays and the playbook, but I think we’re going to be a powerful offense.”
Q: What do you think this offense will do for the development of the way you play the game?
Robinson: “I really do like Coach Morris and his system. We watched a lot of his film from Monmouth. The concepts, I’m really a fan of. I like his offensive mentality. It’s something I really enjoy.”
Glover: “I definitely think it’s going to allow me to have more freedom in the pass game and a little bit in the run game, too. I’m just really excited about the offense. I think we’ll be able to open some things up.”
Becker is no stranger to the Penn program. He was a quarterback for the team from 2010-13 and won two Ivy League championships during his playing days. From 2014-16, Becker served as a quality control coach at Florida State University. He came back to the Quakers in 2017 as assistant director of operations before becoming the tight ends coach at East Tennessee State University last year.
“It’s great to bring back another Penn person,” Priore said of Becker’s return to the team.
From 2014-18, Banks was the defensive backs coach at Georgetown, his alma mater. Before that, Banks spent time in Austria, Brazil, Germany, and Italy and was a coach in the Arena Football League 2.
“He’s a great young football mind and another rising star in the coaching world," Priore said of Banks in Penn’s official announcement of the hiring in February. "He’s helped produce a defense that is aggressive and disruptive and we’re excited to have him rejoin his old head coach, Bob Benson, as they partner again on the defensive side of the ball.”
Ryan Glover and Nick Robinson competed for the starting quarterback position last season, with Glover taking the spot. There’s no doubt that the two will be back at it again come summer camp.
Robinson: “I’m going to keep working hard. I want this team to win and we want to win an Ivy League championship. That’s our goal at the end of the day and whatever gets us there, that’s what we’re going to do.”
Glover: “In the start of the spring, it was basically like I was a freshman again. Literally everything starts over and you’ve got to learn the entire playbook like a freshman. I feel like me and all the quarterbacks are stepping in the right direction to being really good. I feel good about it.”
The team spent from March 3-10 at the Penn-China Global Ambassadors Bowl, going to Beijing and Shanghai to spread the game of football, take part in sightseeing, and enjoy a cultural experience.
The university has a strong interest in the Asian community, with “Asian American/Pacific Islander” being the second-highest race/ethnicity in undergrad enrollment as of 2017. Travis Wang, a sophomore offensive lineman, and Michael Wang, a freshman forward on the men’s basketball team, are from China.
The influence of American football has grown in China. Penn won, 85-0, while using fourth-string players and even having tight ends in as running backs. Although down big, the Chinese team didn’t want to stop. It was more about the experience.