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All Patriot League Teams Released: Matt Cohen Defensive POY

Following the most low-key nine-sack, thirteen and a half tackle for loss season in history, senior LB Matt Cohen saw four years of hard work as a Mountain Hawk pay off as he was selected as Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year today.

Cohen, a local product from Allentown, was a model of consistency on Lehigh's defense. While he only won Patriot League Defensive Player of the week once (with 6 tackles, and 4 tackles for loss including 3 sacks), in every game he was a disrupting factor, with six games where he had at least one tackle for loss. His 9 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss led the Patriot League, and his 63 tackles were among the Lehigh leaders on a defense that doesn't favor one tackler.

It's great to see the quiet supply management chain major get recognized for his four-year contribution to the Mountain Hawk program. Congratulations to Matt!

While we're talking about low-key seniors on the All-Patriot Team, two more seniors got recognized on the first team: senior DT B.J. Benning and senior FB Anthony Fossati. Benning, a Maryland native, ended his senior campaign with 47 tackles, 9 tackles for loss including seven and a half sacks - and probably could have had more had he been able to play more of his natural position of defensive end. Fossati, meanwhile, was the yeoman from New Jersey out of the backfield, opening holes for the running backs and quarterbacks during the year - though he had the go-ahead TD in the 4th quarter against Lafayette, something I'm sure he'll never forget.

Junior OL Will Rackley became a two-time member of the first team all-Patriot League squad as well. The 310 lb Georgia native was an anchor in the right tackle position - and, hopefully, will continue to lock down that side of the line next year, too.

Rounding out the first team is someone who is decidedly not quiet: junior DB Jarard Cribbs. The guy I call "fearless" was a gambler that more often than not came up aces rather than 2/7: with 47 tackles, 2 interceptions, and a league-leading nine pass break-ups as a defensive back. The Maryland native also returned punts, which he did better than anyone else in the league last year: he returned 38 punts for 611 yards, including a key 60 yard return against Fordham that set up a go-ahead TD. His efforts that week earned him Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week.

The second team honored four Lehigh players as well, all whom are juniors (and one senior returning for a graduate year): junior RB Jay Campbell (Wilmington, DE: 659 yards rushing), junior OL Ricky Clerge (Coral Grove, FL: started all 11 games on the "O" line), junior CB/RS John "Prez" Kennedy (34 tackles, 3 passes defended, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery, 774 kickoff return yards, 1 return TD) and senior LB Troy Taylor (Phoenix, AZ: 69 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble).

The official release lists senior QB Dominic Randolph, unsurprisingly, as the Offensive Player of the Year, Holy Cross head coach (and former Lehigh assistant coach) Tom Gilmore as coach of the year, and Colgate freshman DB Demitri Diamond as the freshman of the year. (Freshman QB Michael Colvin would have been a strong choice for freshman of the year had he not been hurt midway through the year.)

Not too many surprises, though it is interesting that junior TE Alex Wojdowski didn't even get a second-team nod - he led the team in receiving touchdowns with 7. (He was behind Holy Cross sophomore TE Alex Schneider.) Lehigh's nine selections lagged behind Lafayette's (13, including a deserved second-team nod for senior QB Rob Curley) and Holy Cross' (14). Other notable first team selections include Colgate sophomore RB Nate Eachus and senior WR Pat Simonds, Bucknell senior RS A.J. Kizekai, and Fordham senior QB John Skelton (who was on the second team). Georgetown had only one selection: senior DL Chudi Obinawu, on the second team.

Again, congrats to every Lehigh player that made the team!

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