If it's late January, that can only mean one thing for Lehigh football fans: the steady stream of commitments coming from high school seniors.
In past years, I have posted one humongous posting of all the Patriot League teams whom I've confirmed are headed to Patriot League schools.
This year, though, I've decided to break out my posted commitments by school.
Below the flip, get a sneak peek of Lehigh's class of 2016 - and come back to this page often, as I'm going to be updating it frequently over the next few weeks.
LB D.J. Bourgeois (Hackensack HS, Hackensack, NJ)
North Jersey Commit List
RB Dan Brown (Central Bucks South HS, Doylestown, PA)
Pennsylvania Sports Writers Class AAAA All-State team
PhillyBurbs: CB South's Brown Named All State
“This is unbelievable and really a tribute to Dan,” said Central Bucks South coach Dave Rackovan of his standout senior tailback.
“From the knee injury that cost him all of his junior season, to just come out of nowhere like he did is phenomenal. He just worked really hard and had a great year.”
Brown, along with North Penn senior linebacker Ralph Reeves, were the two local players named to the Pennsylvania Sports Writers Class AAAA All-State team on Thursday.
OL Steve Camasta (Wallenpaupack HS, Hawley, PA)
Scranton Times-Tribune: Wallenpaupack's Camasta verbally commits to Lehigh | Reading Eagle Commit Announcement
A 6-foot-3, 280-pound lineman from Wallenpaupack, Camasta verbally committed to Lehigh while on his official visit.
"I liked Lehigh from the first time I saw the campus," Camasta said. "It's where I wanted to go all along. Everything finally all worked out this weekend. I'm excited about having the opportunity Lehigh offers academically and they have a winning football program."
"Making a decision has been on my mind and it's all that I have been thinking about," said Camasta, who plans on studying liberal arts. "Lehigh it seemed were all a family and they work hard in the classroom and the weight room."
“I went to about seven camps this past summer at different schools, but a lot of them stopped talking to me. Lehigh has been there the entire time, it was a lot of back and forth. I just had to wait it out and finally we were able to make it official.”
Hudl Recruit Page, With Video
DE Josh Chiasson (St. Mary's, Annapolis, MD)
All-County First Team Offense
First Team All-MIAA
Baltimore Touchdown Club Super 22
MDHigh.com: With Late Father By His Side, Chaisson Aiming High
Most defensive ends are dubbed with adjectives like "fierce," "relentless" and "bloodthirsty." Chiasson, on the other hand, has been called "friendly," "loyal" and "polite."
He addresses his coaches, teachers and elders with a "Yes, sir" or a "No, sir." He encourages teammates and friends with a pat on the back and a few words of wisdom. He greets strangers and well-wishers alike with a smile and a handshake."
"He's everything you want in a teammate and a friend," said St. Mary's defensive back John Gonos, who earned a scholarship to Lehigh. "He's just a genuine person and a very loyal teammate."
"You can just tell by the time he puts in that he wants to be very good," head coach Russell Croteau said. "He wants to be a leader and he wants to play D-I football."
P/K Austin Devine (Bergen Catholic Prep, Bergen, NJ)
MSG Varsity 1st Team All-State
1st Team All-Big North, 2nd Team All-North Jersey, and Honorable Mention MSG Varsity All-Metro Team
NorthJersey.com Commitment Picture | Riverdell Patch Commitment Piece
OL Matt Ford (Wall Township HS, Wall Township, NJ)
2011 Shore Conference "Fabulous 44"
Commitment on Twitter
ATH Conor Gum (Pen Argyl HS, Pen Argyl, PA)
Son of the late Lehigh football legend Jimmy Gum
Groller's Corner: Lehigh's Local Flavor Continues to Grow
My guess is that there's no place Conor would rather go than Lehigh and there's no recruit that coach Andy Coen would be more proud to have in his program than Conor Gum.
As for Gum's senior year at Pen Argyl, he passed for 1,131 yards and 14 touchdowns.
In his first year as a starter at QB, he helped guide the Green Knights into the 2A state quarterfinals.Express-Times: Gum Follows in Late Father's Footsteps
"I've been going to Lehigh games since I was little," said Conor Gum, a senior at Pen Argyl Area High School. "I've always wanted to go there. It's my biggest dream and goal, and it's kind of cool that I've accomplished it."
Jim Gum, a 1984 Lehigh graduate, died in May 2006 after a six-year battle with ALS.
The Lehigh football team presents an annual Jim Gum Scholarship Award at the Brown and White Spring Game, and the Slate Belt community gives out an annual Jim Gum football MVP Award.
"There are a lot of people up here in this community, myself included, that have respect for Jim and what he accomplished," Pen Argyl coach Paul Reduzzi said. "This isn't charity from Lehigh because your dad came here, so you can come here. Conor's a good football player and this has been his dream to play Lehigh football, and I'm very proud of him and thankful he's getting the opportunity to do that."
OL/DL Ryan James (Piscataway HS, Piscataway, NJ)
Newark Star-Ledger Commitment Announcement | MyCentralJersey
DL Grant Jamgochian (Haverford School, Haverford, PA)
Philly.Com Commit List | Also from Philly.com
Video available on Hudl profile
RB D.J. Kee (Stephen Decatur HS, Berlin, MD)
First Team All-Bayside
Maryland Crab Bowl Participant
Maryland Coast-Dispatch: Decatur's Kee Commits to Lehigh
DelMarva.Com: Decatur's Star Football Player Signs to Play at Lehigh
"I felt I was really at home during my trip to Lehigh," Kee said. "It was just a great area there and the players on the team really welcomed me and everything was just great there. It's a great academic school foremost and the have a great football team that has won a lot of games and a lot of conference championships."
Decatur coach Bob Knox said he's optimistic Kee can fill numerous roles in Lehigh's offensive scheme.
"I could see him in the slot, as an I-back, a one back or a tailback but he's got to get a little bigger," Knox said. "He weighs about 180 pounds and he'll need to get up close to 200 in order to take the pounding he's going to take in college football."
Ocean City Dispatch: Decatur Creams Easton For Knox's 200th Win
Led by an offensive outburst by All-everything running back D.J.Kee, the Stephen Decatur varsity football team last week whooped host Easton, 47-7, to hand long-time head coach Bob Knox his 200th career win at the Berlin school. Kee finished with 340 yards on the ground and an astounding 475 total yards to lead the Seahawks, now 3-4 on the season, in the rout of the Warriors. Kee finished with 475 yards of total offense including 340 rushing yards.
Kee said this week Lehigh’s winning reputation and strong academic programs made his decision an easy one.
“It really is a perfect fit for me,” he said. “It’s a good football team with a great history and the program wins a lot of games. On top of that, it has a great reputation academically, so it made the decision an easy one. After visiting the campus and meeting with the coaches, I really can’t wait to get up there and get started. I’m anxious to get out on the field. I’ll probably have to be patient in terms of getting involved in the offense right away, but I’m hoping to get out there on special teams right from the beginning.”
WR Derek Knott (Colonial HS, Orlando, FL)
State Long Jump - 22 feet, 9 inches
Among the schools interested in Knott is Harvard, where he intends to study either engineering or architecture. Harvard is interested in him for track, but he s hoping he can play both football and run track.
Signing Day Picture in Orlando Sentinel
Video Available on Hudl Profile
LB Cody Kondas (Westerville Central HS, Westerville, OH)
All-OCC Cardinal Division Player of the Year
Signing Confirmed on Twitter
Video available on Hudl profile
DB LaQuan Lambert (Chichester HS, Boothwyn, PA)
Commitment on EasternPAFootball
DB Randall Lawson (River Hill HS, Clarksville, MD)
Washington Post All-Met Team Honorable Mention
Commitment Announced on Rivals
Video available on Hudl profile
LB Matt Laub (Parkland HS, Allentown, PA)
Lehigh Valley Conference first-team (TE)
Lehigh Valley Conference first-team (LB)
Varsity Blog: Parkland LB Laub headed to Lehigh
Highlight Reel on Hudl
Laub missed his entire junior season with an injury but returned to excel as a senior, recording 94 tackles (68 solo), 31 quarterback pressures, six pass breakups, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He was a Lehigh Valley Conference first-team selection at linebacker and tight end.
Laub's dad, John, said in an email that former Central Catholic coach and Lehigh defense line coach Donnie Roberts recruited Matt.OL Tony Manganiello (Governor Livingston HS, Berkeley Heights, NJ)
Third Team All-New Jersey
First Team All-Area
Berkeley Heights Patch: Manganiello Signs Letter of Intent
OL Terez Owens (Red Lion Christian Christian Academy, Bear, DE)
Newark Post Commitment Announcement
OL/DL Greg Palma (Nutley HS, Nutley, NJ)
East Orange Navigator 2011 All-Area Team
NorthJersey.com: Palma Signs Letter of Intent
"It's a dream come true," said Palma, who played both offensive and defensive line for the Raiders this season. "I've ever thought in my wildest dreams that I'd be playing Division 1 football, let alone for Lehigh. It's just a blessing. I thank God everyday for those blessings. I'm the happiest kid in a world right now. Like a little kid on Christmas."
Although Palma also plans to be a business major off the field, he's interested in taking care of more business on it.
"Like anyone else, I want to be an All-American, maybe go to the NFL," said Palma. "But if that doesn't work out I might go into law or maybe try Wall Street out ... [In five years] hopefully I'll be on the Giants."
DB Russhon Phillips (Plymouth Whitemarsh HS, Plymouth Meeting, PA)
SOL American Conference Football All-League
Times-Herald: Phillips Signs Letter of Intent to Play at Lehigh
Phillips, whose quarterbacking and secondary play helped lead the Colonials to the Suburban One League American Conference championship last season, will play defensive back for the Mountain Hawks.
DB Olivier Rigaud (Pembroke Pines Charter, Pembroke Pines, FL)
BCAA All-Star Football Game Participant (FL)
Commitment on Rivals
S/LB Noah Robb (Central Catholic HS, Allentown, PA)
Morning Call: Central Catholic's Robb headed to Lehigh
A defensive standout for the Vikings over the last two seasons, he will head to Lehigh as a safety but could eventually slide to weak outside linebacker. "I feel like in the position they have me I'll fit in well," Robb said Sunday evening. "They'll use me to play in space and also support the run. I feel like playing linebacker this year also helped me a little bit more.... I always had it in the back of my mind that I belonged at Lehigh," he added. "I always felt real comfortable there. I think what really did it was the kids on the team. I got along real well with the kids on the team and the coaches."
TE Chris Ruhl (Abington HS, Huntington Valley, PA)
Commit message on ScoutingPA.com
PhillyBurbs: Six Abington Athletes Bound for D-I Universities
Ruhl, a tight end, considered Bucknell and Lafayette. He excelled at both blocking and receiving, but said he is neither a glorified tackle nor receiver.
“My coach (Tim Sorber) had no problem sending me out on routes or keeping me in to block,” Ruhl said. “At the end of my junior year, a couple of coaches came in and let me know where I stood, and I realized it was starting to get pretty serious.
“It really came down to an academic decision. Lehigh has the best engineering program, and their football has a reputation of winning in the Patriot League.”
Suburban One Sports: Featured Athlete: Chris Ruhl
Three varsity sports. Six Advanced Placement classes. After-school and evening practices and games. Homework that can occasionally last deep into the night.
Abington senior Chris Ruhl admits that his daily workload can become fairly staggering sometimes. He wouldn't have it any other way.
"I'm having way too much fun playing three sports to even let it cross my mind to give one up," Ruhl said. "I'm often overwhelmed, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I really love playing three sports [football, basketball, and baseball]."
The simple fact is … for a guy who carries a 4.5 GPA and is among the top students in his class, there are two words Ruhl simply doesn't allow into his vocabulary -- "quit" and "fail."
"I strive for perfection, whether it's in the classroom or on the field," Ruhl said. "I owe that to the coaches, all three coaches. I made a commitment to these teams, and I'm aware that I have to live up to that commitment each and every day."
WR Julian Turner (Orange HS, Pepper Pike, OH)
Signing announced on News Net 5
(Note: I understand he has de-committed and will now be going to Navy.)
DE Mat Verdon (Timber Creek HS, Orlando, FL)
Central Florida News Postseason Honor Roll
FACA All-Star Team (North)
News of commitment
Orlando Sentinel Boys' Athlete of the Week: December 1st
The 6-5, 205-pound senior defensive end had six solo tackles, two assists, two tackles for loss, four quarterback pressures, a sack and forced fumble as the Wolves continued a historic season with a 17-6 playoff win over Olympia.