Category Archives: Recruiting

The 2017 Patsy Ratings: No. 1, Holy Cross

The pie-eating contests were what I loved the best about the Worcester Patsy Parties.

Maybe it was the Purple People Eater moniker, the fact that they coincided with a particularly busy party weekend, it wasn't abundantly clear, but they always made for a great shindig.

I remembered the undergrads, lined up, eating the blueberry pies one after another.  It never ended well, but for some reason all the unsuspecting young people, waiting for the starting gun to go off, made me smile, as if they didn't know what they were really getting into.

It wasn't just about the pies: there was all sorts of great food and drink there: the blueberry crush cocktails, of which I had too many on multiple occasions, stood out.

Today, however, the only crush experienced in the offices were the ones of Holy Cross' Patsy Rating spreadsheets hitting me in the head.

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Seven Positive Thoughts About All the Patriot League Recruiting Classes

It's recruiting season.  Every incoming recruit is a Patriot League all-star, everyone is a first team all-American, everyone is undefeated.  It's all good times, a chance for kids to be admitted to some of the best Universities in the world.  In that, it's a win for everyone.

While we wait for each of the remaining recruits to be announced as a part of their recruiting classes, I thought I'd comb through all of the incoming classes of the Patriot League and tell you what sticks out to me.

This summart isn't a ratings-based system, than folks like 247Sports have in terms of measuring the number of "starred recruits" (they list Holy Cross as the "winner"), or even a hybrid-based system, like LFN's yearly Patsy Ratings (last seasons "winner": Lehigh) or HERO Sports' list of the top overall FCS recruits (which lists Lafayette as the "winner").  It's just one guy, looking at the recruit lists, and giving his opinion.

Let's start.
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Lehigh’s 2017 Recruitment Class Big on Championships and Big on Versatility

(Photo Credit: Dan Gleiter/PennLive)

Head coach Andy Coen came into the conference room at Taylor Gym with a broad smile on his face - the type of face that comes from winning a Patriot League Championship last year, of course, but also the type of face that comes from a man quite happy with his incoming recruiting class.

The fifteen names in the incoming class, "with four extra guys to announce later [on]", Coen said, seemed to fill Lehigh's needs, the fifth consecutive year that Lehigh has been recruiting with the same type of  scholarships as the rest of FCS.

"We had to shore up some depth, we really had to get a little bit of everything," he said.  "We graduated a lot of guys in the secondary, so it was important to get a good group there this year, and I think we did that."

Four defensive backs were announced today as being a part of the incoming class, DB Divine Buckrham, DB Tre Cundiff, DB Tre Neal, and DB Jaylen Floyd.

"The four defensive backs are not only capable of being corners but can also play safety or potentially grow into our rover position," Coen explained in Lehigh's official release. "That's always good when you have kids who start out with the ability to be very versatile in our defense."

In fact, the theme for this entire incoming class could be one of versatility - versatile defensive backs, a versatile running back in RB Evan Chadbourn (a "triple threat type of guy", according to Andy), and even a versatile quarterback in QB Addison Shoup (who is listed as a pro-style quarterback but showed some running ability in his the highlight reel that Lehigh Athletics showed of all the recruits announced today).

"Addison is a very active quarterback," Coen said. "He has a strong arm and does a lot of different things with his feet. He's a little different from QB Nick Shafnisky as he's more of a pure passer than Nick but he's capable of beating defenses by throwing the ball and running with it."

It felt like the guys Andy announced today on offense and defense could be used in a variety of different roles, and that's just how he wanted it.

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Recruit Q+A With DB Dre Blue-Eli

In the run-up to signing day, I caught up with a few of the new recruits to ask them about their recruiting stories and their high school football career.

Today our subject is DB Dre Blue-Eli, who competed at Paulsboro High School in Paulsboro, New Jersey.

Paulsboro HS is considered the "home of Champions", largely to their football championship history.  The Red Raiders have won 18 sectional championships in their history, including a 29-26 win over Salem last season.

Playing at both wide receiver and defensive back, Blue-Eli had a critical fourth down stop on defense in that championship game deep in their territory.

The momentum from his stop led to a 67 yard touchdown run on the very next play, giving Paulsboro a lead they would never relinquish.

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Recruit Q+A With DB Divine Buckrham

In the run-up to signing day, I caught up with a few of the new recruits to ask them about their recruiting stories and their high school football career.

Today our subject is DB Divine Buckrham, who competed at The Kiski School, which is based just outside of Pittsburgh, PA.

The Kiski School is an all boys, small, private school with an enrollment of 210 students.

Despite its small size, it has a long, storied history of football, too.

"From the early 1950's to the present, it is well documented that Kiski has fielded teams deep in football lore and history," Kiski's team website says. "Many of the country's greatest football players of the time started their careers at Kiski."

Situated not far from State College, PA, Kiski graduates include QB Darryl Clark and RB Curtis Enis, two names which should be well known to Nittany Lions fans.


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The 2017 Pre-Signing Day Big Board for Lehigh

With a little over a week to signing day, the incoming football class of 2021 is in real focus.

I'm always hesitant to jump the gun on verbals to Lehigh.  I've been around this long enough to realize that commitments can change.

But I've also found that when you get this close to signing day, you've got a fairly good picture as to what the class looks like.

All verbals are considered "verbals" and are very much unofficial until signing day, but many student-athletes have tweeted their commitments and their tweets are included below.

So a week before signing day, here's some information as to what we know here at LFN about the incoming class.

(A huge thank-you to Rich Heelan and Todd Cuddington, who have done a great job as they always do tracking recruits.  Their constantly-updated spreadsheet is here.)
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Lehigh Football Recruiting: Analyzing Needs For Class of 2021

Is it already time to ask Santa for a bag filled with new Lehigh recruits?

Since the conclusion of Lehigh's championship 2016 football season, head coach Andy Coen and all of his assistant coaches have been on the trail recruiting the next great Lehigh football players.  While it's a "quiet period" now, as per the NCAA, the Mountain Hawks have been busy.

But what, exactly, does Lehigh need in regards to the offseason?

I forgot; that's why you're here.  Let me share what I think.
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The Patriot League vs. The World: Comparing All The FCS Recruiting Classes

For the last few years, "the commitee" and I have compiled the Patsy Ratings, an attempt to evaluate the incoming football classes of the Patriot League.

It's clearly "for entertainment purposes only," an effort to try to take a look at whether a schools' recruiting needs are met, whether they've secured the playing services of a lot of recognized talent, and whether some of their measurables look good.

However, I frequently find myself wanting the Patsy Ratings to do more.  For example, how did the Patriot League as a whole do in comparison to other FCS schools?  Did the Mountain Hawks crush their FCS competition?  Or was the actual picture different?

Without, say, an equivalent James Madison Football Nation willing to make these Patsy-like evaluations of the incoming classes of other FCS schools, there was no real good way to make that type of comparison.

However, my curiosity got the better of me.  "There must be a way," I thought, "to at least be able to see how the different schools stack up against other schools in different conferences, even if it's not as good or as thorough as the Patsies."

I found out that there was.
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The 2016 Patsy Ratings: No. 1 – Lehigh

The Committee member popped the DVD in the player once again.  "The Top 25 Moments in Murray Goodman history."

"What'cha doin'?", another Committee member said.

"In a way, I hate this time of year," she said.  "With the Patsy Ratings done, all we have left to get us through the offseason are all these videos.  Sure, there's spring football, of course, but fall always feels so far away in March."

"Is that a VHS copy of Colgate beating Florida Atlantic in 2003?  Didn't Howard Schnellenberger order that all surviving copies of that game be destroyed?"

"That was a heck of a find," she said.  "Apparently they were cleaning up some house in Ithaca and the kids were going to throw out an old shopping bag filled with videos.  Incredibly, they found it, along with rare footage of Cornell playing a competitive game with Colgate."

"Do we have any Yuenglings in the fridge?"

"Sure.  Pull up a chair.  The 1991 Holy Cross/Lehigh showdown is on."

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The 2016 Patsy Ratings: No. 4 – Lafayette

"Come over here," one Committee member said.

She ran to the door, and saw a basket with two spotted creatures.  She couldn't help but stifle an "Aw!" as, for a moment, her heart, hardened by hours or work on the Patsy ratings, melted.

"Oh great," another Committee member said.  "More strays.  Should we print out more flyers to see who might adopt them?"

"More worryingly," another Member said, "is this an attempt to try to impugn the sanctity of the Patsy Ratings?  Could this be an attempt to bribe the Committee by offering them some cute Leopard cubs?"

The Committee  member looked back at the Member quizzically.  "Since when did the Patsy Ratings have sanctitiy?" they asked seriously.

"Look, they're playing!" she said.

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