Slackman selected Ivy Defensive Player of the Year

The fourth-year defensive lineman is Penn’s first conference Defensive Player of the Year since 2015.

Head Coach Ray Priore, left, and Joey Slackman at the New York Athletic Club.
Ray Priore, the George A. Munger Head Coach, (left), and defensive lineman Joey Slackman at the New York Athletic Club. (Image: Penn Athletics)

Fourth-year defensive lineman Joey Slackman of the football team has been named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year.

A First-Team All-Ivy selection this season, Slackman, from Commack, New York, finished his final Penn campaign with 50 tackles (23 solo), 12.0 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 4 hurries, 1 pass breakup, and one blocked field goal. He is the first Quaker to be awarded conference Defensive Player of the Year since Tyler Drake in 2015.

“Thank you to the Penn coaching staff for taking a chance on me and believing in me from the beginning,” said Slackman on Monday at the New York Athletic Club. “Not only am I honored to be here, but I’m honored to be a part of this program. From where my career started to where I am now, I wouldn’t be on this podium if you didn’t give me a chance a couple years ago.”

Joey Slackman lines up in a three-point stance against Dartmouth.
Image: Penn Athletics

As a second-year in 2021 (his first-year season was canceled by COVID), Slackman appeared in nine games and had 16 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. In his third-year season in 2022, he started all 10 games and was an All-Ivy honorable mention. He amassed 49 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 4 quarterback hurries.

“Ever since he joined the program, the leadership Joey has shown, in my opinion, is unparalleled,” said Ray Priore, the George A. Munger Head Coach. “It’s the stuff you look for in young men to represent you on and off the football field. Like a lot of our kids, they are talented, but do they really work and have those winning habits? You watch Joey and his thoughtfulness, his study of film to be the best that he can be. He’ll go up there with the rest of the greats that have gone through this program.”

Slackman has a year of eligibility remaining, although he cannot play at Penn. According to the Daily Pennsylvanian, he has received a host of offers from top programs, including Michigan, Oregon, Washington, Missouri, Louisville, Arizona, and USC.