Last season, a disappointed LB Colton Caslow talked about the Lehigh defense after a top 26-21 loss to nationally-ranked Villanova.
Caslow, LB Pierce Ripanti
and LB Evan Harvey
had combined for 27 tackles against the Wildcats, but it wasn’t enough to spring the upset.
“None of those plays I made would have been possible if I didn’t have the fantastic teammates I have around me out there,” he said after the game
. “Everyone’s just been flying around, we’re getting all eleven players to the ball, everyone has a lot higher energy out there, and we’re in a lot better shape than we were last year.”
Caslow’s disappointment would be the last time he’d experience that emotion after a regular-season football game, as Lehigh then proceeded to win their next nine games and the Patriot League championship. Caslow, and the defense, never averted their focus and improvement from that point forward.
This weekend at the Brown/White spring scrimmage, we will see what the 2017 Lehigh defense will look like, but the emphasis on being in great shape and getting all eleven players to the ball will almost certainly remain.
The biggest question mark on the defensive side, though, remains which athletes will step up to replace Caslow, Ripanti, Harvey, ROV Laquan Lambert and CB Brandon Leaks – and which existing players will step into the leadership positions that these seniors had as well.
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