Posted: November 20, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Ten Mountain Hawks garnered All-Patriot League accolades, including four First-Team selections, it was announced on Tuesday. This marks the sixth straight season in which at least ten Lehigh players were named to the All-League teams. Among those selected to the First-Team were John Reese on offense and Brian Jackson, Tim Diamond and Brannan Thomas on defense, while Jimmy Kehs and John Kennedy garnered Second-Team honors on offense and Kyle Adams, Matt Cohen, Ernest Moore and Jason Leo were selected to the Second-Team Defensive unit. The all-league teams are voted on by the league’s seven head coaches.
Senior John Reese started all 11 games at center for the Mountain Hawks this season, marking the third consecutive year he started every game. A preseason All-American and two-time captain, Reese makes his third appearance on the All-League roster, and second straight on the First-Team. Reese anchored a Lehigh offensive line that allowed only 14 sacks this season, which led the Patriot League and ranked in the top-25 nationally.
On defense, junior defensive lineman Brian Jackson had a breakout year along the defensive line, ranking second on the team with 63 total tackles, including nine for loss and a team-leading 5.5 sacks. The New Jersey native also forced three fumbles. Jackson registered ten tackles and two sacks in the season opener versus Villanova and had at least five tackles in every game but two. This is Jackson’s first All-League selection of his career.
Classmate Tim Diamond had a phenomenal junior season from his linebacker spot, leading the Mountain Hawks in tackles with 107, which ranked third in the Patriot League. It marked the first time since 2004 that a Lehigh player topped the century mark in tackles. Diamond also registered 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one interception and three fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Diamond recorded ten or more tackles in six games, including a career-best 22 in a win over Harvard in late September which earned himself multiple National Defensive Player of the Week honors. Diamond makes his first appearance on the All-League team.
Senior defensive back Brannan Thomas makes his third appearance on the All-League team and second straight on the First-Team. The Florida native totaled 32 tackles in 2007, as well as a team-leading five pass breakups and three interceptions. The three picks gave Thomas 12 for his career.
Senior offensive lineman Jimmy Kehs concludes his career with his second All-League nod after starting all ten games in which he was healthy for this season. The Pennsylvania native saw time along the line in all four of his years at Lehigh, starting nearly every game over the course of the past three seasons. Freshman John Kennedy was a vital weapon for the Lehigh special teams unit this season, averaging 24.2 yards per kick return, good for second in the Patriot League. The Philadelphia native returned 45 kicks for a total of 1,087 yards, including a long of 54 yards at Colgate. Kennedy had four games of at least 100-yards on kick returns. Kennedy becomes the first Lehigh freshman to garner All-League accolades since Jason Leo was honored in 2005.
Senior Kyle Adams helped to anchor the Mountain Hawks defensive line this season, as he posted a career-high 52 tackles, including two for loss and a pair of forced fumbles. Adams battled injuries his entire career, but was healthy for the entire 2007 season and capped it off with his first All-League selection. Sophomore Matt Cohen complimented Diamond at linebacker as the Allentown native totaled 55 tackles, including a team-best 13 for loss, as well as three sacks, one interception and three fumble recoveries. Cohen’s best game may have been at Bucknell when he recorded four tackles, including three for loss and two sacks, as well as a fumble recovery. This is Cohen’s first career All-League honor.
Senior captain Ernest Moore makes his second straight appearance on the All-League teams. The leader of the Mountain Hawks secondary, Moore made 60 stops in 2007 to go along with three pass breakups and one sack. For his career Moore registered 141 total tackles and four interceptions. Junior Jason Leo garners Second-Team All-League honors, marking the third straight year he was named as an All-League selection. Leo had an incredible season punting the football, ranking second in the Patriot League and 14th in America with a 42.1 average. The 2006 Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Year, Leo helped the Mountain Hawks finish third in the country in net punting with a 39.8 average. Leo booted 43 punts for a total of 1,811 yards this season with 19 of those kicks being downed inside of the opponents’ 20-yard line. He also scored 61 points on 28 extra points and 11 field goals as Lehigh’s place kicker.
2007 Patriot League Football Major Award Winners
Offensive Player of the Year: Dominic Randolph, Jr., QB, Holy Cross
Defensive Player of the Year: Andy Romans, Jr., LB, Lafayette
Rookie of the Year: Xavier Martin, Fr., RB, Fordham
Coach of the Year: Tom Masella, Fordham