239th: Division I
2017 In A Sentence: A fantastic defense kept them in a lot of games, but an anemic and error-prone offense saw Garrett’s first Leopard team limp to a 3-8 record, though all those wins were in Patriot League play.
Biggest Shoes to Fill: LB Brandon Bryant was a monster inside for the Leopards, notching 133 tackles and 7 1/2 tackles for loss. Though the entire Lafayette defense was impressive, Bryant was the centerpiece, and the Leopards will need to find another.
Key Player: There is no sugarcoating that the offense needs to improve, and QB Sean O’Malley will have to be a part of that right out of the gates unless he’s challenged in preseason camp. O’Malley had some good moments last year as a true freshman, but will have to cut down on the interceptions and continue to improve in order to improve Lafayette’s record this year.
Fearless Prediction: Nobody promised John Garrett a rose garden in his first year, but despite the record, the Leopards were in the thick of things in a weak Patriot League. Could it happen again? If it does, it will be because of O’Malley’s improvement and because Garrett will have found more playmakers on defense.
Chuck has been writing about Lehigh football since the dawn of the internet, or perhaps it only seems like it. He’s executive editor of the College Sports Journal and has also written a book, The Rivalry: How Two Schools Started the Most Played College Football Series.
Reach him at: this email or click below: