Yes, Virginia, Patriot League football is just around the corner. Not only that, Patriot League Media Day is three weeks away -- where we'll learn about the preseason poll, the preseason Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, and more.
Through the long summer, we learn about organizations like The Sports Network, Phil Steele's 2009 College Preview and others announcing their national preseason all-American teams. Some FCS conferences (like the Colonial Athletic Association, or CAA) do individual preseason honorees, too, for just their league.
But what about the Patriot League? The league itself does not release a preseason all-Patriot League team during Media day, so today I decided: why not stir up the pot a little bit and announce my own preseason all-Patriot League team?
Unsurprisingly, leading my list as offensive Preseason Player of the Year would have to be 5th year Holy Cross senior QB Dominic Randolph, who either holds (821 completions, 83 passing touchdowns) or is on the brink of breaking (140 yards away from the passing yardage mark, 80 yards away from the total yardage mark) all the major league passing records this year. The prolific Crusader should rightfully get NFL looks this year as he rewrites the Patriot League record books. Randolph has already been mentioned in Phil Steele's 2009 College Football Preview and The Sports Network as preseason all-American, as well as an all-American honorable mention from Consensus Draft Services.
My defensive Preseason Player of the year has to be Lehigh senior LB Matt Cohen. This isn't simply a "homer pick" either: last year Cohen led the league in sacks (6 1/2) and tackles for loss (17) while nabbing 3 interceptions and recovering 1 fumble (which he returned for a touchdown against Bucknell last year). Cohen was a first-team All-American honoree with Phil Steele's and, like Randolph, got an honorable mention from Consensus Draft Services as well.
My complete Patriot League list follows below. The breakdown is very even between six out of the seven teams of the league - which shows exactly how even most of the teams are going to be going into the 2009 season.
First Team Offense
QB Dominic Randolph, Holy Cross, Sr.
RB Nate Eachus, Colgate, So.
RB Xavier Martin, Fordham, Jr.
AB Josh Lee, Bucknell, Sr.
WR Shaun Pasternak, Bucknell, Jr.
WR Pat Simonds, Colgate, Sr.
TE Stephen Skelton, Fordham, Jr.
OL Ryan Hart-Predmore, Lafayette, Sr.
OL Aaron Jones, Holy Cross, Sr.
OL Zach Posey, Colgate, Sr.
OL Chris Poole, Holy Cross, Sr.
OL William Rackley, Lehigh, Jr.
RS A.J. Kizekai, Bucknell, Sr.
PK Davis Rodruiguez, Lafayette, Jr.
First Team Defense
DL B.J. Benning, Lehigh, Sr.
DL Robert De La Rosa, Bucknell, So.
DL Austin Douglas, Colgate, Sr.
DL Andrew Poulson, Lafayette, Sr.
LB Matt Cohen, Lehigh, Sr.
LB James Crockett, Fordham, Sr.
LB Mark Leggerio, Lafayette, Sr.
LB Marcus Rodriguez, Holy Cross, Sr.
DB Kevin Colbert, Fordham, Sr.
DB Jarard Cribbs, Lehigh, Jr.
DB Carlos Lowe, Lafayette, Sr.
DB Michael Wright, Holy Cross, Sr.
P Casey Dobyns, Georgetown, Jr.
[EDIT: Due to 'popular demand' (i.e. a kind note from Lehigh superfan Rich H.), I'm adding a second team to the preseason all-Patriot League team.]
Second Team Offense
QB John Skelton, Fordham, Sr.
RB Tyrell Coon, Lafayette, Sr.
AB Philip Oladeji, Georgetown, Jr.
WR Bill Edger, Holy Cross, Sr.
WR Freddie Santana, Holy Cross, Jr.
TE Adrien Schriefer, Colgate, Sr.
OL Nick MacLeod, Bucknell, Jr.
OL Rob Petrosino, Holy Cross, Sr.
OL James Phelan, Bucknell, Sr.
OL Robby Reis, Fordham, Sr.
OL Chris Smith, Holy Cross, Sr.
RS John Kennedy, Lehigh, Jr.
PK Jose-Pablo Buerba, Georgetown, Jr.
Second Team Defense
DL Alex Carson, Holy Cross, Sr.
DL Ian Dell, Lafayette, Sr.
DL Chudi Obinawu, Georgetown, Sr.
DL Carlton Walker, Colgate, Sr.
LB Greg Hadley, Colgate, Sr.
LB Nicholas Magiera, Fordham, Jr.
LB Nick Parrish, Georgetown, Jr.
LB Al Pierce, Lehigh, Sr.
DB Anthony DiMichele, Holy Cross, Jr.
DB Travis Mack, Georgetown, Jr.
DB Wayne Moten, Colgate, Sr.
DB Ahkiel White, Bucknell, Jr.
P Tom Kondash, Lafayette, Jr.