Category Archives: NFL Draft

Davenport, Kpassagnon Only Two Of Possible NFL Draftees Lehigh Faced Last Year

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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Nick Shafnisky Is Pushing Hard to Get To Play at the Next Level in Football

"Don't take anything for granted, just keep pushing."

Those are the words of QB Nick Shafnisky, told to The Whitehall-Coplay Press all the way back in 2013, about his preparation as a high school athlete.

And they seem to summarize the Whitehall, PA native perfectly, then as now.

Dubbed the "Male Athlete of the Year" by that publication, the article goes on about Shaf's many exploits at Whitehall high school - leading the Zephyr football team to a co-Lehigh Valley Conference title, becoming the first player ever in that conference to rush and pass for over 1,000 yards, and earning the league's co-MVP award as well.

He also was a member of the Zephyrs playoff basketball team, and for good measure also helped set a record for the 4x100 relay team as well.

At Whitehall, and at Lehigh, coaches pushed him, but it was his own hard work that helped make him the best athlete he could be.

This weekend, Shaf, like every eligible college football player, will be hoping that he hears his name called in the NFL Draft somewhere, whatever day, whatever round.  If his name isn't called, he'll be hoping to get a call from an NFL team to get signed for a training camp.

One thing he won't do, however, is stop pushing.  
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A Most Exciting NFL Draft Weekend for Lehigh Football Fans

There have been many football offseasons when I've covered the possibility of one, or perhaps two, Patriot League players getting signed as free agents playing at the next level.

This offseason, we might see something unprecedented.

Four Lehigh football players - QB Mike Colvin, TE Jamel Haggins, LB Billy Boyko, and, of course, WR Ryan Spadola - all have an excellent chance at finding themselves in NFL training camps in the next couple of months.

One - Spadola - is a strong candidate for being drafted this Saturday.
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Spadola Represents Nation, Speeds Towards Combine

When you are looking to make the NFL, every moment, and every all-star game and combine, matters.

This past week, former Lehigh star WR Ryan Spadola, who is currently looking to be one of those guys that play on Sundays, looked to make every moment of his appearance in the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game matter.

That didn't just mean the game itself, where Ryan's stat line read 1 catch for 8 yards, a pass from Tulane QB Ryan Griffin, or the outcome, which was a 24-13 win for the (appropriately named) Nation team over Texas. 

(In a strange twist of fate, Ryan didn't wear the gold helmet of Lehigh at the game, but more on that later.)

It also meant the positive press in the run-up to the game, and the large number of scouts available to see their progress. 

In my exclusive Q&A with Ryan about his experience, I talk to him about his experience with the game, what he's been doing, and what's next for the Lehigh star.
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