They come to Lehigh willing to sacrifice so much, because they want to win games, of course, but they also play the game in order to win championships - Patriot League Championships.
They want those rings.
Sure, they get to square off against the Villanova's, James Madison's and New Hampshire's of the FCS world to measure themselves against the best of their division. And they get to participate in the nation's most played Rivalry in all of college football, putting them in an elite club of players and into college football history.
All of those things are very important, of course, and allow them great playing memories and, in the case of the Lafayette game, perennial bragging rights.
But 2015's heartbreak in Hamilton, the 49-42 loss to Colgate, really hurt on a fundamental level for this Lehigh team. When that senior class was recruited, one of the things that is a part of the deal is that the Mountain Hawks have won Patriot League championships at least once in every four year span. Until, that is, the class of 2016, though they came agonizingly close several times.
That disappointment seemed to inform this year's team, which also had a couple of fifth-year seniors in senior WR Derek Knott and senior ROV Laquan Lambert, that so many of last year's team didn't get the chance at the championship rings that they ended up earning this season.
It informed them all the way to a championship, and rings.