Penn grad Brandon Copeland signs with New England Patriots

The 2013 Wharton alum, a linebacker and special teams player, has joined the six-time Super Bowl champions.

Brandon Copleland plays linebacker for the New York Jets during a game in New York.
Image: NFL

Taking his talents to Foxborough, Penn alumnus Brandon Copeland, a former All-Ivy defensive lineman on the football team who played for the New York Jets the past two seasons, has signed with AFC East rival the New England Patriots.

Copeland, a linebacker and special teams player, had 27 tackles, 15 assisted tackles, 1.5 sacks, two deflected passes, and one forced fumble in 12 games for the 7-9 Jets last season. In a Week 9 18-26 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Nov. 3, he had a season-high nine total tackles and one sack.

During Super Bowl weekend, Copeland was presented with the NFL Players Association’s Alan Page Community Service Award. The union’s highest honor, it recognizes “one player who demonstrates a profound dedication to positively impacting his team’s city and communities across the country.” 

Across four NFL seasons—he spent his first two seasons with the Detroit Lions—Copeland has 73 tackles, 34 assisted tackles, seven sacks, four deflected passes, and two forced fumbles.

Brandon Copeland on the field during his Penn playing days.

New England is coming off an un-Patriot-like subpar season. They finished 12-4 and won their division, but lost in the Wild Card round at home to the Tennessee Titans. This season will be the Pats’ first without future Hall-of-Famer Tom Brady in 20 years.

Thrice in his four years as a Quaker, Copeland, a Wharton grad and a Penn lecturer, was a member of Ivy League championship teams, in 2009, 2010, and 2012. He was also a three-time First-Team All-Ivy selection. He was undrafted out of college and spent short stints with the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans before signing with the Lions.