Aug. 3, 2010
Bethlehem, Pa. - Led by quarterback Greg Sullivan and running back Nate Eachus, Colgate has been selected to claim the 2010 title in a vote by the League's sports information directors and head coaches, it was announced during Patriot League Football Media Day on Tuesday at the Green Pond Country Club.
Live coverage of the Patriot League Football Media Day is available at the Gameday Blog.
The Raiders were picked first on six of the 12 ballots and garnered 46 points overall. The next three teams were all closely bunched and received at least one first-place vote, as Lafayette took second place, Lehigh was third and defending champion Holy Cross was selected fourth. Coaches and sports information directors were not allowed to vote for their own teams.
The poll voters also picked Colgate senior quarterback Greg Sullivan and Holy Cross senior defensive end Mude Ohimor as the preseason offensive and defensive players of the year, respectively. Sullivan earned a Second-Team All-Patriot League honor in 2008 before producing another stellar season a year ago, while Ohimor was a First-Team All-Patriot League pick in 2009.
Fordham was not eligible for inclusion in the poll or preseason voting because it will not be able to compete for the Patriot League Championship in 2010, and its games against League members will not count towards the final standings. Picked to win the title by six votes,
Colgate has perhaps the two most recognizable players in the Patriot League in Sullivan and running back Nate Eachus. Sullivan had 2,740 total yards and 25 touchdowns in 2009, while Eachus ran for 919 yards and 16 touchdowns despite being limited to just seven games due to injuries. Wide receiver Doug Rosnick also returns along with a pair of starting offensive lineman, though the unit will have to account for the loss of go-to target Pat Simonds. Five starters return on defense, including three in the secondary. Patriot League Rookie of the Year Demitri Diamond is back along with Coree Moses at the cornerback spots. The Raiders lose four All-Patriot League performers from the defense, including First-Team selections Paul Mancuso and Uzi Idah. Colgate's Dick Biddle enters the 2010 campaign with a career mark of 113-51 and 66-18 record in Patriot League games, and will go in search of his seventh League Championship.
Lafayette edges out rival Lehigh and defending champion Holy Cross for the No. 2 spot in the poll, though the Leopards will have plenty to replace with just 10 starters returning. Mark Layton, Mitchell Bennett and Greg Stripe form an impressive trio at wide receiver, but the unit loses standout quarterback Rob Curley and a pair of All-Patriot League offensive lineman in Ryan Hart-Predmore and Michael Wojcik. Linebacker Michael Schmidlein is back on defense after making 100 tackles last season, and the Leopards have three starters returning in the secondary as they look to replace three departed starters on the line.
Lehigh appears to be heading in the right direction with 17 starters back, nine on offense and eight on defense. The offensive unit is primed for success with J.B. Clark behind center and Jay Campbell (RB), Jake Drwal (WR)and De'Vaughn Gordon (WR) back at the skill positions. The unit also has four starters returning on the line, led by preseason All-American Will Rackley. Multiple starters return in every area on the defense, with Jarard Cribbs and John Kennedy forming a strong duo in the secondary. The unit did lose two key cogs in lineman B.J. Benning and linebacker Matt Cohen.
Holy Cross will try to repeat without record-setting quarterback Dominic Randolph, who has departed Worcester with almost every Patriot League mark and as a three-time League Offensive Player of the Year. In addition to the quarterback competition, the Crusaders will take on the task of replacing three All-Patriot League offensive lineman and four starters overall out of the group. Wide receivers Luke Chmielinski, Bill Edger and Freddie Santana will ease the transition after posting strong campaigns last
year. The defense may be the strong suit with Ohimor returning on the line and Anthony DiMichele in the secondary after each earned First-Team All-Patriot League honors a year ago. But like the offense, the defense has to replace more starters than it returns.
Bucknell will move to a pro style offense under new Head Coach Joe Susan. The Bison have 13 starters back, with quarterback C.J. Hopson and wide receiver Shaun Pasternak along with four lineman on offense and Travis Nissley and Ahkiel White leading the way on defense.
Georgetown fills out the poll as it looks to gain ground with 15 starters returning. Linebacker Nick Parrish and defensive lineman Andrew Schaetzke lead a defense with eight starters back.
Fordham has outstanding players at the skill positions on offense with running back Xavier Martin, tight end Stephen Skelton and wide receivers Jason Caldwell and David Moore. They will need someone to get them the ball now that John Skelton has moved on to the NFL. Six starters are back on defense, including leading tackler Nick Magiera at linebacker.
Six of the seven Patriot League teams open the season on Sept. 4, with only Lafayette waiting until the second weekend of the season on Sept. 11. The Leopards' opener will also mark the Patriot League opener as they host Georgetown. The Patriot League champion earns the League's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Football Championship.
Patriot League Preseason Poll
1. Colgate (6 first-place votes) 46
2. Lafayette (2) 36
3. Lehigh (3) 35
4. Holy Cross (1) 34
5. Bucknell 17
6. Georgetown 12
Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Greg Sullivan, Sr., QB, Colgate
Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Mude Ohimor, Sr., DE, Holy Cross