Penn pays tribute to fallen teammate

BY foxsports • September 18, 2010

Penn honored a player who committed suicide this spring with a moment of silence before the coin toss of Saturday night's game against Lafayette at Franklin Field.

Owen Thomas, who would have been a senior, killed himself in April, just two weeks after being named one of the Quakers' captains.

This week, researchers at Boston University revealed that an autopsy on Thomas' brain showed he had the early stages of a disease that has been connected to depression and impulse control issues in NFL players who have sustained concussions.

On Saturday night, Penn's three senior captains - quarterback Keiffer Garton, running back Bradford Blackmon and offensive lineman Joe D'Orazio - were joined at midfield for the pre-game coin toss by Thomas' four former roommates.

The other Penn players then marched onto the field, lined up, clasped hands, and stood behind the captains for the moment of silence and the coin toss. The silence lasted 40 seconds as a tribute to Thomas' uniform number. The Penn players are all wearing ''40'' decals on their helmets this season.

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