Archive For April 28, 2017
One of the more interesting aspects of covering Lehigh football for so long is the fact that you end up seeing future NFL players on their rise to the big show.
In fact, two players who squared off against the Mountain Hawks in particular have an excellent chance of being drafted on Day 2 or Day 3 of the NFL draft.
But those not the only Lehigh football opponents that will be hoping to get a phone call from an NFL team this Friday or Saturday.
Though few Patriot League, Ivy League or even CAA players enter their football programs with the NFL as their main goal, every football player that matriculates to these schools still harbor the dream of dominating their league and as a result get an opportunity to pursue their NFL dream.
And it is true that NFL scouts come to FCS football games to look for talent that might have been overlooked. Many years ago I was in Hofstra’s press box, watching the Pride take on New Hampshire, with NFL scouts from the Colts and Saints there to watch WR Marques Colston play. The Saints decision to pursue Colston may very well have come from that game in Hempstead, New York.
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Some spring games are loaded with drama as to who might be rising into starting positions.
On Lehigh’s offense, which boasts a backup quarterback-turned-starter that threw for 1,000 yards last year, a 1,000 yard rusher, and two of the Top 10 receivers in all of FCS, drama for starting positions was, shall we way, lacking.
Instead, the scrimmage became a show as to what Lehigh fans might be able to hope to see in Setpember, a reminder of all the good things that may be in store.
In that sense, even though they started out slow, junior QB Brad Mayes, junior RB Dominick Bragalone, senior WR Troy Pelletier and senior WR Gatlin Casey showed that they indeed still knew how to play some football.
They all came to play, and in the process gave Lehigh fans a taste of an offense that has the potential to be special yet again.
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Many will look at the spring game final results and stats and see that the offense “won” this Saturday’s Brown/White game, 48-34.
They’ll see a stat sheet they might expect from a Mountain Hawk team: 121 yards passing from junior QB Brad Mayes, touchdown receptions from senior WR Troy Pelletier and senior WR Gatlin Casey, as well as a touchdown run by junior RB Dominick Bragalone.
But that doesn’t tell the full story of the game, played on a wet Saturday morning under mostly overcast skies.
In the early portion of the scrimmage, the Brown defense racked up sacks, tipped passes and shut out the White offense for nearly an hour before Mayes would finally find Casey in the end zone.
If there was any question how the new four-man defensive front might work out for the Mountain Hawks, they were answered today with a solid performance early.
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It was good to see some football in Murray Goodman stadium today.Battling raindrops under an overcast, spring sky, Lehigh’s offense (the White team) won the “official” game, 48-34 over the Lehigh defense (the Brown team), using a modified scoring syste…
(Photo Credit: The Morning Call)
Going to practice this Wednesday, I wondered how things were going with the Mountain Hawks this spring.
You never really know what to expect until you go, and on a surprisingly chilly evening, I arrived up at Lehigh’s practice fields.
A lot of times at practice you hear jeremiads from the coaching staff on “spirited competition” and competing for positions. But you don’t always see it on the practice field.
On Wednesday, though, it was there. I saw it.
Maybe it’s a product of a lot of players knowing where they fit on the team, and that’s certainly what is my impression in regards to the Lehigh offense.
When you have returning all-Patriot League players at running back, wide receiver, and the offensive line, that’s one level of comfort. When you have a returning quarterback that started three games, including an FCS playoff game, and led an 63-35 win over Yale with 524 yards passing, that’s yet another level of comfort.
Perhaps that’s why it was an entertaining scene of players jawing at one another and competing against each other.
Last season, a disappointed LB Colton Caslow talked about the Lehigh defense after a top 26-21 loss to nationally-ranked Villanova.