Welcome to the Athlete Spotlight! This is the place to honor super-star athletes on Penn’s campus. If you know an athlete who deserves recognition, send in suggestions to Nikki Pepperman at Npepp@nursing.upenn.edu
Spotlight on: Ryan Calvert. Varsity Football’s Wide-Receiver, came straight from practice at Franklin Field to tell us about his life as a student athlete!
Position: Wide Receiver
Graduation Year: December 2011
Other Hobbies: Base Jumping, Asian-Fusion Cuisine, and Spy Novels
Played sport since…. 4th grade
Look for him in Jersey #: 3
Sports Icon/Role Model: Jerry Rice and Barry Sanders
What is your favorite move in football? The water break.
Favorite football team? San Diego Chargers.
How does playing Wide-Receiver individually impact the team? I play wide receiver so the quarterback throws me the ball and I catch it. Also, looking good is a big part of it too.
Do you have any pre-game ritual? I always read the game day program and listen to Bob Marley.
How does the team prepare the hour before the game? We have a set pregame schedule starting an hour before where different position groups go out to the field to get ready. It ends with our pregame speech in the locker room and then we all run out of the tunnel together about 5 minutes before the game. Throughout this hour there is of course lots of yelling, butt slapping, high fiving, dancing, and other necessary things that really help get ready for a game.
Funny locker room stories? I have no doubt we have the funniest locker room in the league. It’s similar to Vegas: what happens there, stays there.
Football players are tough, how do you play through injuries? The key is if you have an injury just “quit bitchin’” about it.
What do you eat the night before a game? I love pasta. If I can find an Italian restaurant that serves pancakes though that is definitely ideal. My friends and I try to get a good Italian dinner the night before a home game, especially when our parents are in town. Before every game we have a team breakfast the day of, and we have team dinner the night before at the hotel on away games.
What is a typical day like? In season I spend probably 45 minutes to an hour in the training room getting my ankle ready and watch some film in the coaches office between classes. We have meetings from 2-245. Then we have to be on the field at 330 for practice which goes until about 6. A couple days during the week we have to lift after practice so that will go until about 7. Then back to home sweet home.
What is your most memorable moment on Franklin Field? Crushing Harvard at home this year to clinch the Championship. It’s an awesome feeling winning the Ivy-League Championship -it makes everything that we work for year round worth it.
What is your inspiration for continuing football in college? I used to play baseball and soccer also and I chose football because my goal in high school was to play college football. Definitely miss the other ones though. I have 1 more year left to play something I’ve been doing forever, which is a pretty good reason. And three rings wouldn’t look too bad either.