Lafayette linebacker Andy Romans was a dominant force in the Patriot League from 2005-08, winning the League's Defensive Player of the Year honor in each of his last two seasons. He was named to the Patriot League Football 25th Anniversary Team in July.
Andy Romans, LB, Lafayette (2005-08)
2006: Second-Team All-Patriot League
2007: First-Team All-Patriot League, Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year
2008: First-Team All-Patriot League, Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year; Second-Team AP All-American
Post-Patriot League: The two-time Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year attended minicamp with the New York Giants. He then coached safeties at Muhlenberg College.
Reaction to 25th Anniversary Team selection:
Being named to the 25th Anniversary Team for the Patriot League is an enormous honor for me. I was fortunate to be able to play for some great coaches and with some great teammates during my career at Lafayette College. My success as a player can certainly be attributed to that. The Patriot League is an extremely competitive league with programs that all have prideful tradition and history which makes this honor that much more meaningful to me. My times competing in the Patriot League at Lafayette College are some of the best of my life. I always played hard and to the best of my ability and for that to be recognized next to some of the great players in the history of The Patriot League is as prestigious an honor as I have received.
Q and A
Patriot League: What was it about Lafayette, both the school and the football program, that was appealing to you and influenced you to attend the school?
Andy Romans: Lafayette was the only Patriot League school to actively recruit me. They showed interest and right away said that they wanted me to come play for them. That was important to me because I was not heavily recruited at all, so them saying they wanted me and showing strong interest meant a lot to me as a high school kid who dreamed of playing Division I Football. I liked the coaches at Lafayette and on my visit could tell right away how committed to winning they were and that the program was moving in the right direction. Academically, Lafayette is a great school with a great reputation so I felt fortunate to be able to attend a school with Lafayette's reputation. Football was the vehicle that brought me to Lafayette and pointed me towards my degree, and I am very blessed that I was offered that opportunity.
Patriot League: In your first two seasons Lafayette won the Patriot League title and advanced to the NCAA playoffs, and ended the year with a key win over Lehigh both times. What did those accomplishments mean for you?
Andy Romans: Those accomplishments were huge. I played for a very successful program in high school and I was used to winning so having a League title in my first two seasons at Lafayette was a great start to my career. It is always nice to be able to have a ring to fall back on at the end of your four-year career, and I was lucky enough to be a part of two championship teams. As far as ending the year with a win over Lehigh, well at Lafayette that is the ultimate victory. We went 3-1 against Lehigh in my four years. That record is something I find myself talking about a lot. You do not realize how big the rivalry really is until you are finished with it, or at least until you are a senior. It is as if the hate builds over the years and only continues to grow. If I could put pads on, and play in one more game, against one more opponent, I as well as every other "old Leopard" would definitely choose Lehigh.
Patriot League: In 2007 and 2008 you won the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year award. What was your reaction to receiving that honor from the League's opposing head coaches?
Andy Romans: Being chosen as Defesnive Player of the Year by the coaches in the Patriot League is as prestigious an honor as you can receive. The coaches within the league are the ones who watch every single play of your career, they know every player that plays on every team in the conference. I am extremely grateful for these coaches to have voted me as the best defensive player in the entire conference two years in a row. The Patriot League truly has some great coaches who I will always have an enormous amount of respect for, so to have their respect as a player is the most I could ever ask for. Accolades like that are the ones that you carry with you forever, ones that are voted on by the people who truly know how you play the game. I always say the two biggest achievements in my entire football career are being voted Captain by my teammates and being voted Lafayette's team MVP twice.
Patriot League: You went against some outstanding offensive players in Patriot League history including Dominic Randolph, John Skelton and Jordan Scott. What was it like to prepare and go up against those players?
Andy Romans: I would always look forward to playing against talented players in our league. Whenever a team had an outstanding player on offense, or on defense I would get excited for the challenge. I always wanted to prove that I could play with anybody who lined up against me and at the end of the game wanted the other team to walk away remembering who #17 was. Playing within a conference like the Patriot League is a great experience that lasts with you forever, if I saw any of the above mentioned players on the street today I am sure we would know who each other was and would share a bond that can't really be explained through words. That is what is so great about football that it lasts with you forever, the bond you shared with teammates and even opponents, a mutual respect and love for the game will always keep real football guys together. It is something that is hard to explain but I have relationships that will last a life time that is bonded solely through football.
Patriot League: Do you have a game or moment that stands out as particularly memorable in your career?
Andy Romans: What stands out to me most in my career is playing on the number one defense in the nation. Lafayette has developed a culture of playing dominant defense. Lafayette's defenses will always turn and run and play with relentless effort. To look back and know that I was a part of that culture, and that I was part of a defense that was the best in the entire nation is special. I am honored to say I played next to the guys I did and to say I played for Coach Loose and Coach Hachmann and all the other Lafayette coaches all the way up to Coach Tavani. In 2008 we flew down to Virginia to play Liberty University who at the time had the longest winning streak in the nation. We were huge underdogs and played in a real hostile environment and ended up pulling out the victory. That was a game that will stick with members of that team forever and was a special moment for our program. Also, going 3-1 against Lehigh like I said is very important to me. Whenever I see a Lehigh sweatshirt or t-shirt I instantly let them know!
Patriot League: What did you learn as a student-athlete at Lafayette, both on and off the field?
Andy Romans: I learned a lot while playing ball at Lafayette. I learned how to be a leader and how to play one snap at a time, for the guy next to me. I take that with me in everything I do in life. The lessons you learn on the football field really do translate to everyday life and stay with you forever. I will always work hard in everything I do because I learned what truly giving effort is while playing at Lafayette. The degree I earned at Lafayette is invaluable. No matter what I do I can always turn to that degree and know what it means.
Patriot League: What have you done since leaving Lafayette?
Andy Romans: Since leaving Lafayette, I have coached football and been a personal trainer in Northern New Jersey after pursuing playing football for awhile after graduation. I am debating going back to school after taking my LSATs but still have not yet decided.
I would just want to say that I was fortunate to grow up in the household that I did. I have a mother who taught me to always dream big and always told me that I could accomplish anything I wanted and be anything I wanted to. On the other hand I have a father who instilled a relentless work ethic in me. My father is old-fashioned and taught me at a young age that the only way to reach those dreams was through hard work. The foundation that they provided me with is at the end of the day what made me the football player and human being that I am.