Sports Network tabs Spadola as one of top ten FCS wide receivers
Posted: 05/25/2011 | Last updated: May 25, 2011 at 11:39 AM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – For the second time this spring a member of the Lehigh football program has been named among the top ten FCS players at his position by the Sports Network. This time, junior Ryan Spadola has been named one of the top ten wide receivers, as was released on Tuesday. One of the breakout stars of Lehigh’s offense, Spadola was a third-team Sports Network All-American and is the only Patriot League wideout on this top ten list.
After catching just one pass as a freshman, Spadola blossomed into Lehigh’s top receiving threat in his sophomore season. The Howell, N.J. native caught 78 passes for 1,130 yards which were the most for a Lehigh receiver in both categories since 2001. Spadola had nine touchdown receptions, including a three-touchdown performance in Lehigh’s 32-10 win over Bucknell, which garnered him Patriot League Player of the Week honors. The Sports Network said this about Lehigh’s 6-foot-3, 200 pound All-Patriot League receiver.
“If the Mountain Hawks arrived a year ahead of schedule last season, Spadola was one of the difference-makers. He caught 78 passes for 1,130 yards and nine touchdowns and earned third-team honors on The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS All-America Team. Against Harvard, he had 14 receptions for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Spadola is both fast and athletic. He finished last season in a big way, catching touchdowns against arch-rival Lafayette and then in FCS playoff games against Northern Iowa and Delaware.”
Spadola’s 14 catches against Harvard tied the Lehigh single-game record, while his 206 yards were the sixth highest total in school history. Among his late-season heroics was the go-ahead touchdown reception in Lehigh’s 14-7 NCAA first round playoff win at Northern Iowa.
Of the ten receivers named to the Sports Network list, Spadola will see just one in 2011. Liberty’s All-American Chris Summers was named to the list and the Flames will visit Goodman Stadium September 24.
Earlier this month, senior captain Mike Groome was named tone of the top FCS linebackers by the Sports Network.
Lehigh, coming off its ninth Patriot League football championship, will open the regular season Saturday September 3 against the Monmouth Hawks in West Long Branch, N.J.