Part II will be coming up soon regarding my one-on-one interview with him on Media Day as well.
Are you as pumped as I am for September 8th, 1PM? Sixteen days away?
There's a word frequently mentioned throughout team sports that binds young men and women and ties the knot. This word brings them closer in both triumph and failure and in times of despair and joy. There's a great word that unifies people and gives them support to better the individual: family.
Family is one of the most important things in life. It gives us a sense of security, of belonging. It allows us to take refuge when the storm comes and bask in its glory in times of sunshine. I was fortunate enough to have a family throughout my life that really cared for me. Although this family is not all biological, nonetheless I can say that my family has stood by my side and has made me the young man I am today.
Every accolade that I've ever received was because of somebody else's dedication to me and what I believe in, and this preseason player of the year award is the same. I really owe it to men like John Reese, our center, whose 295 lb rear end (and the rest of the offensive line) give me time to throw some of those not-so-great passes - and then my wide receivers make me look good. Especially at my position when you feel like the weight of your team is on your shoulders and if you have a bad practice that's going to trickle down to everybody else. My team - my family - has always been there to help me out.
I'm blessed to attend Lehigh University, a small school with a sense of community and family. I've been blessed to have people like my coach, coach Coen, to be there. Every Patriot League student-athlete has been blessed with their individual families, their coach, every cameraman, every administrator - and one of the great things about family is that one has their immediate family, the nucleus, and then you have your distant relatives (like the other Patriot League teams). At my institution, I have my nucleus, I have my band of brothers.
At the end of the season, it's all about family. It's all about the Patriot League. It's all about being mad that the Ivies kicked our butts last year. It's about, 'I hope Colgate goes and wins a national championship (in 2003) because they're representing us.' It's about the folks that are representing us at the next level in the NFL. In the Patriot League, it's like a Patriot League family. We battle, we fight - but when it's all over and all is said and done, nobody else does what we do. We go to top 10 academic institutions, and we play Division I football.
I wanted to say thank you to the Patriot League for providing me a competitive atmosphere that promotes exellence in both academic and sports arenas. Every student-athlete here can attest to how prepared they're going to be after their college careers are through. I'd like to thank the coaches for being caring, honorable men that we all look up to and we all appreciate and literally and truthfully, we depend on y'all, and we thank y'all.