Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It's a shame Fordham has one more season
of ineligibility in the Patriot League title race because the Rams could
challenge for the league title.
It appears everybody has a realistic chance this year.
The PL might as well be renamed Parity League as defending champion Colgate
and fellow stalwart Lehigh will likely fall back closer to the pack this
season, with the rest of the teams taking a step up the ladder.
With the league's first scholarship class in place (except at Georgetown,
which doesn't offer them), expect to see more freshmen in the two-deeps.
Redshirting freshmen is not allowed in the Parity League, er Patriot League,
and coaches will play the best players, regardless of age.
Lehigh, coming off three straight seasons of at least 10 wins, faces the
prospect of replacing nine of its 11 all-league performers. Second-team
selections Nigel Muhammad, an outside linebacker, and junior Ned Daryoush, the
left tackle, return to the lineup.
Holy Cross was hammered by injuries last year, but it gave opportunities to
young players like nose tackle Mike Galantini and quarterbacks Steve Elder and
Ryan Laughlin, who were solid by season's end. The Crusaders were 2-9, but six
of the losses were by a touchdown or less.
OH, YES, THEM AGAIN
Bucknell hopes to do a Texas two-step in the league standings with Plano's
Brandon Wesley, who will be the starting quarterback for a fourth straight
Colgate coach Dick Biddle can't sing enough praises of quarterback Gavin
McCarney, the league's offensive player of the year. The Raiders, though, have
suffered some big losses on the offensive line.
Speaking of quarterbacks, senior Isaiah Kempf (concussion) is hoping to get
cleared medically after Georgetown used five quarterback last season.
Don't just hand the league's offensive player of the year award to McCarney
again. Fordham running back Carlton Koonce (1,596 rushing yards, 48
receptions, 15 touchdowns) has been granted another season of eligibility.
It's impossible for Colgate to replace Jordan McCord, the FCS' fifth-leading
rusher last season. Sophomore-to-be John Wilkins hopes to step into the
If he cuts down on interceptions, Lafayette junior quarterback Zach Zweizig
will put the Leopards in the league title race.
Nobody was coming out of Robert McCabe's shadow last season, but at
Georgetown, Dustin Wharton has the tools to be among the league's top
The Lehigh quarterback is always a high-profile position. Brandon Bialkowski,
Matt McHale, Gerald Poutier and incoming freshman Nick Shafnisky are the
candidates. None has thrown a varsity pass.
Lafayette returns nine linebackers to its 4-3 defense, and senior Mike Boles,
who made 88 stops as the middle 'backer, appears to be the only one set with a
starting position. Kasheem Hill, Tyler Robinson and Dion King all made starts
at the strongside spot, while the weakside spot also is three-deep with
incumbent Colton Kirkpatrick, Ben Aloi (coming off an ACL tear) and Chris
SPRING PRACTICE DATES
Bucknell: March 22-April 20
Colgate: March 18-April 13
Fordham: March 20-April 26
Georgetown: March 20-April 20
Holy Cross: March 16-April 13
Lafayette: March 14-April 20
Lehigh: March 22-April 20
The Sports Network