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It's that recruiting time of year that is simply excruciating for Lehigh fans. We seize on little bits of tomato or salad (like in this picture), scraping by for some sort of update on who Lehigh head coach Andy Coen is looking for, or sniffing around to think about where assistant coaches are driving (or flying) to talk to recruits.

There are tireless folks out there (like RichH and ngineer on the voy board) that consistently get the steak for us, working hard and combing over the local press reports for scraps of tantalizing information... who reports for us, and we eagerly gobble down the information.

I'm a fan, just like anybody else, and I admit I look over RichH's posts on the voy message board and look at the recruiting websites. But (with no offense to RichH) until I have an official announcement from Lehigh, I tend to make an attempt at curbing my enthusiasm - especially when it comes to reporting who's committed and who hasn't. It is not a stance that every college sports blogger shares.

Why is that? Why don't I simply just take every scrap of information and publish it here? Quite simply, I prefer to cross-reference my sources, especially with an official source if at all possible. If I can't get that - and there will never be any official sources before Lehigh announces their recruits - to me, it's only right that all names are just "rumored" until officially announced by the university. Getting a commit wrong on an anonymous message board costs that anonymous person nothing; but if I get that commit wrong, my integrity about Lehigh football, and my audience, is compromised. Not all bloggers will adhere to this standard, but I will.

That's not to say that I won't report some of the rumors that are flying around. But they are just that - rumors - until the official announcement day comes. Part of the reason is the nature of Patriot League recruiting in comparison to scholarship recruiting.

In an effort to set some rules on college recruiting, many scholarship schools are a part of something called the Letter of Intent program (or LOI). In a nutshell, the LOI is a written declaration of intent to play athletics for a particular school, with penalties imposed on their student aid (read: scholarship) if that student backs out of his commitment. A student that signs such a letter to a Penn State, Delaware, or Hampton has a binding contract to their school. On these websites like who announce that Joe Prospect has committed to a school like Mississippi State, what they mean to say is that Joe has signed an LOI agreement with that school.

Lehigh does not participate in the LOI program. What does that mean? It means, as far as I can tell, that instead of having sites like track recruits independently, Lehigh will only announce their group as a unit when everyone has signed a "letter of understanding" that they will be playing football for Lehigh. This means that while Hofstra fans are celebrating their two-star recruits signing LOI's (whatever that means), Lehigh fans will sit and wait up to a month or more to see which recruits may be wearing the Brown and White. And there will be no "announcement" until the whole class is on board, and the university declares it.

So anything I hear that an athlete has "committed" to Lehigh has to be taken with a grain of salt. There is no LOI document that says that they are playing here.

As we wait, here's the latest names that are flying around (UPDATED):

FS/RB John Veniero (West Essex, Essex, NJ) 6'2", 185 lbs. Tough defender and rusher rumored to be in Brown & White. Would be nice to see him as an enforcer on defense.

DL/OL David Brown (Hopewell HS, Hopewell, PA) 6'0", 265 lbs. All-state and rumored to be heading to Lehigh. Could probably have his pick of position - we need both OL and DL.

QB Marc Quilling (Parkland HS, Parkland, PA), 6'3", 206 lbs. Visited Lehigh and Lafayette recently, as well as some FBS schools.

QB Tim Jefferson (Woodward Academy, College Park, GA), 6'0", 193 lbs. Also a decent shooting guard in basketball, he's also being recruited by Bucknell, Air Force, and Navy. Was a highly-touted QB prospect and could fit nicely in the Sedale Threatt mold.

DB Casey Eldemire (Lake Brantley, Altamonta Springs, FL) 6'1", 180 lbs. From a powerhouse Florida program, Lafayette is in the mix for him - Lafayette has gotten these Florida recruits in the past. Would be nice if we got this speedy one for a change.

TE/DT Joey DeBerardinis (Pius X, Bangor, PA). Wondering if maybe some more of these Pius X kids might be visiting Lehigh like this kid who helped Hildabrant put up some great numbers.


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