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Leggiero Reaps Patriot League Honors while Leopards Picked Third

Aug. 4, 2009

Newsstand | Hart-Predmore | Poulson | Leggiero | Tavani | Whitesell/Nardone on PL Internships

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Senior linebacker Mark Leggiero (Bohemia, N.Y./ Connetequot) was named the Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday at Patriot League Football Media Day at Green Pond Country Club. The Leopards were selected to finish third in the preseason poll of conference head coaches and sports information directors.

Leggiero is a two-time All-Patriot League honoree for Lafayette's vaunted defense. In 2008, he helped the Leopards' lead the Patriot League in rushing, total and scoring defense, making 93 tackles and 12.5 tackles for loss to earn All-Patriot League First-Team recognition. The league's returning tackler (8.5 tpg) is in his third year as a starter, collecting All-Patriot League Second-Team honors as a sophomore and team Rookie of the Year plaudits as a freshman.

An accomplished student, Leggiero maintains a 3.2 GPA while majoring in Engineering. He is in the midst of a summer internship with Victaulic, an international pipe systems company based in the Lehigh Valley.

Leggiero is serving as a team captain along with fellow three-year starter Ryan Hart-Predmore (Rochester, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit) at offensive left tackle and top defensive lineman senior Andrew Poulson (Lincroft, N.J./Middletown South). Hart-Predmore, also a 3.2 student in Economics and Business, undertook a summer internship with a financial services company, IPG, under the tutelage of former football player Mark Sessanta '98.

All three captains were in attendance at Patriot League Media Day and were joined by starting defensive end Allan Whitesell and senior linebacker Evan Nardone who are completing summer internships with the Patriot League office.

Holy Cross was picked first on half of the 14 ballots, and finished with 67 points to earn the top spot. Defending champion Colgate was just behind with six first-place votes and 64 points. Lafayette and Lehigh shared the third position in the poll, each garnering 46 points. Fordham (35), Bucknell (24) and Georgetown (12) rounded out the rankings.

The Leopards have 14 starters back for 10th-year Head Coach Frank Tavani, with six on both offense and defense. Three starters are back on the offensive line, including Hart-Predmore, while Leggiero and Poulson lead the defense.

The poll voters also picked Holy Cross senior quarterback Dominic Randolph as the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Randolph has won two consecutive Offensive Player of the Year honors and was also the preseason choice last year.

Lafayette opens the season on Sept. 12 at Georgetown.