Alum Brandon Copeland named to Forbes’ ‘30 Under 30 Class of 2021’ in Sports

The New England Patriots linebacker has been recognized for his contributions on and off the field.

Image: NFLPA

Former Penn football standout and current New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Copeland has been named to Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30 Class of 2021” in sports.

Now in its 10th year, Forbes’ “30 Under 30” honorees are selected annually because of their contributions on and off the field of competition, and they remind us why sports matter, especially in these unprecedented times.

“This well-deserved recognition is not surprising,” says George A. Munger Head Coach of Football Ray Priore. “Brandon was not just interested in being a good student-athlete, he was committed to being great in every way and continues to excel with great determination, focus, and passion. We are excited to see what the future holds for Cope and grateful that he continues to be very active in our Penn football community.”

Copeland graduated from the Wharton School with a degree in management and entrepreneurship, and currently he teaches a financial literacy course “Life 101” at Penn.

An undrafted free agent, Copeland has put together an eight-year NFL career that has included stints with the Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, Detroit Lions, New York Jets, and Patriots. This season, Copeland appeared in six games and made four starts for the Patriots before being sidelined with a season-ending injury.

Copeland has been recognized for his work in the community before, as he was named the 2020 NFLPA Alan Page Community Award winner, the NFLPA’s highest honor.

Image: New England Patriots

Copeland operates two real-estate companies and a non-profit organization, Beyond The Basics, which focuses on empowering young individuals to maximize their potential by exposing them to enriching experiences, opportunities and people.

During his time with the Red and Blue, Copeland was a three-time First-Team All-Ivy honoree and a part of three Ivy league championship squads (2009, 2010 and 2012). All told, he amassed 160 tackles and 11 sacks for the Quakers. Copeland was the football team’s lone captain in 2012, to date the only season the program had just one captain since 1997.

Copeland’s impact on the Penn football program is still present to this day, as he is a member of the Football Alumni Board and was recipient of the Jack LeFort Person of the Year Award at the team’s banquet in January. He has been heavily involved with mentoring and networking, particularly with the Quakers’ Black student-athletes and Black football alumni. He has also recently been philanthropically involved; with a number of his former teammates, he helped establish the Owen Thomas W’11 Student-Athlete Experience Endowment.

Other professional athletics featured on the list include Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons, Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and Los Angeles Sparks forward Chiney Ogwumike.