QB Derek Gaul, the Schuykill Valley High School senior, and the brother of Brett, who was a three-sport athlete for the Pathers, is coming to Lehigh as the Mountain Hawks' second confirmed commit of the class of 2015.
He's another big name to come out of the Anthracite region to come to play for Lehigh: rising junior RB Zach Barket played against Gaul in high school, and will now be welcoming him as a member of Lehigh's incoming class. (more)
Like SS Jesse Sanchez a few years ago, Gaul played quarterback in high school but is being recruited as a free safety at the Division I level. As a member of the Panthers, his athleticism led him to pass for more than 1,000 yards and run for 1,000 yards as a four year starter at quarterback. His performance earned him first team all-Berks at quarterback last year.
There's a lot to be excited about with this commit, too. Just look at some of the superlatives he gathered in season:
"Every kid wants to be the star, wants to have the big numbers," said Panthers coach Jeff Chillot. "But the bottom line is that Derek will do whatever it takes to win. That's the biggest thing: He just wants to win."I'm sure this information is something Lehigh fans are going to like to hear.
Gaul could have a lot more yards and more of those stirring touchdown runs if he wanted. He's fast and elusive, clearly one of the best athletes in the county. He's a starter in basketball and last spring won a PIAA gold medal in the long jump.
There's no doubt he's the best runner on the team; he's one of the best in the county, a guy who can go the distance at almost any time.
"I know I've got to do what's right for the team," he says. "Usually there's someone spying me, or the end is just sitting there (waiting for me). I don't want to pull (the ball out) and make a wrong read, and maybe Scheidty (running back Dylan Scheidt) or one of our other running backs would have a huge hole and they miss an opportunity to get a touchdown. I try not to be a ball hog."
"I can run, but I don't believe I have the capability of being a Division I quarterback, so I shied away from that," he said. "I wouldn't have a chance to get on the field (as quickly at quarterback)."
Gaul is looking forward to Feb. 2 when he will sign an NCAA letter of intent to play for the Division I-AA school.
"It's always been my dream to be that kid from a small school that goes Division I and plays football," Gaul said. "It's exciting to know that I'm going to a Division I college."
Gaul plans to major in biomechanical engineering.
"Defense is where I love playing the most," said Gaul. "Defense is just playing football, and it's hitting, which is one of the main reasons I play the game."
Gaul was a four-year starter at cornerback and gained a reputation as being so good on that side of the ball that few teams challenged him.
In just his second varsity game as a freshman he knocked down a fourth-down pass in the end zone late in the game to preserve a 32-25 victory over Panther Valley.
"Teams didn't come my way that much at corner," Gaul said, "so I didn't get many opportunities to shine."