If there is one thing that Brandon Copeland and Kyle Juszczyk know about, it is the competition of elite leagues. The two rookies competed against one another in the Ivy League Divisions for the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard, respectively, where the academic edge is stressed more than the athleticism.
In fact we can be assured that these two men could probably take the business world by storm with their academic credentials alone. But now they have made history by being the first two Ivy League rookies on the same team in the NFL.
However, the competition does not stop.
Well after rookie camp, you can see these two hitting the weight room and training hard at the Baltimore Ravens‘ facilities. Juszczyk, a fourth-round draft pick in this year’s draft, was a first-team FCS All-American at Harvard. He has impressed coaches with his ability to transition from the soon-to-be extinct fullback position to being a possible blocker for Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce — as well as a consistent runner for short yardage — especially after last week’s waiving of 10-year veteran Vonta Leach.
Copeland, an undrafted free agent, was a three-time Ivy League champion and first-team All-Ivy League and has taken on the challenge of changing positions to inside linebacker. If Copeland stays focused and learns the position well enough, this move could propel him to compete and possibly surpass second-round pick, Arthur Brown, who has speed instead of size but also needs the necessary time to heal from a sports hernia surgery.
When asked how does it feel to be in the league, Copeland humbly responded, “It’s unreal but let me get my first tackle.”
The most important competition for the upcoming July training camp is to not be released from the reigning Superbowl team. The second competition facing the two of them is for starting or at least visible positions that showcase their new-found talents in the NFL. The third competition will be to withstand the toughness of the seasoned NFL players on opposite teams that are much bigger in size and wiser in professional plays.
From one competitive league to another, the journey continues.