It's finally here - Lehigh and coach Coen have announced the class of 2010!
A surprisingly big class with 29 new names and no transfers, coach Coen also surprised me with bringing in a couple of recruits from California - our first recruits from that state in quite some time. This is in addition to our normally strong showing in Lehigh Valley and NJ recruiting as well. Kudos to coach Coen for bringing together such a solid class even with the challenge of bringing a coaching (and recruiting) staff together at the same time.
Unsurprisingly, coach Coen brought in some great-looking talent on the offensive and defensive lines, with 4 OL and 4 DL. Two of my five "Top faces to watch" in this class are linemen. There appears to be some good speed in the WR/DB's, but also some good playmakers as well. Some of the LB's on the list appeared to be converted offensive players (Heath Brickner, Al Pierce) on massively successful high school programs (Thomas Jefferson (PA), Hargrave Military Academy (VA)). Overall, recruiting appeared fairly even across all positions, with particular emphasis on wide receivers (since we lose 6 to graduation this year).
Without any further ado, let me offer my "5 faces to watch" in the class of 2010.
1. B. J. Benning, DT, River Hill (MD). Listed as 270 but playing last year at 280, B.J. fought double-and-triple teams on the defensive side of the ball but still was a major factor up front, setting a River Hill record for sacks. He was recruited by James Madison and William & Mary, but coach Coen snagged this talented DT that could be an impact defensive lineman. 2006 Prediction: Special Teams.
2. Jesse Sanchez, QB, Bergen Tech (NJ). Built like our projected starting QB, sophomore QB Sedale Threatt (6'1, 180 lbs), Sanchez was a solid passer for the Knights, at one point breaking Bergen Tech's single game passing record of 319 yards. Looks like a good athlete who may be a very good passer - not just a runner - down the line. 2006 Prediction: Scout team.
3. Dane Trotter, WR/DB, Blair Academy (VT). Recruited by UConn as a wideout and Penn State as a DB, Trotter was one of the finest big-play wideouts that then-coach Steve Houghton at Burr & Burton had ever seen. At Blair, he led the defense in tackles. It will be a very pleasant problem to determine on which side of the ball this talented back will be playing, but it's no doubt he is a major find. 2006 Prediction: Special Teams.
4. Sean Lezgus, OL, Morris Catholic (NJ). Sean could have been a preferred walk-on with Virginia or Rutgers, but chose instead to play with coach Coen at Lehigh - and his former coaches gush about his ability to match up with D-I-A talent. He'll need to beef up a little for D-I college football, but it's clear coach Coen nabbed a highly-regarded lineman that may be a factor sooner than later. 2006 Prediction: On the Depth Chart.
5. Evan Johnson, DB/WR, Salisbury (CA). One of the first California recruits at Lehigh in some time, I project Evan as more of a DB considering his development at Salisbury, where he led the defense in tackles at 4.9 per game. He looks like a speedster that may be a keeper. 2006 Prediction: Special Teams.