Junior linebacker Colton Caslow prepares for a play on defense in a game against University on Pennsylvania on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 at Goodman Stadium. Caslow has recorded 43 solo tackles this season. (Courtesy of Lehigh Athletics)

Colton Caslow proving to be dominant force on Lehigh defense

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One afternoon while scrolling through his email, then-high-schooler Colton Caslow noticed his junk mail was full and decided to click on it. He saw an email from the Lehigh University football coaches and opened it. The coaches told him they really liked his highlight footage and wanted him to give them a call.

He did, and after some conversation, he was offered a full-ride scholarship. Caslow visited the school, and then he committed.

That’s when the Lehigh football team added Caslow, of Altamonte Springs, Florida, to its roster as a linebacker.

When Caslow, now a junior, isn’t focusing on his schoolwork as a psychology major, he spends his time on the football field leading Lehigh’s defense as one of the team’s star linebackers.

A Florida native, Lehigh was not on Caslow’s mind when he was originally talking to different college coaches.

“One of my brother’s friends went to my high school, so I had heard about Lehigh before,” Caslow said. “But it was never on my radar. I never thought I’d come all the way up here to play football until I got that email.”

Caslow said the transition from high school to a collegiate Division I level was just like any transition in sports.

“It was like transitioning from the Pop Warner level to the high school level,” Caslow said. “You go from being at the top of your grade and the best in your division back to being a freshman again and doing all the tough work and having to make a name for yourself.”

And Caslow has done that. As a freshman he saw a lot of playing time, starting his first game around five weeks into the season. He has started ever since then and is a key player on the team’s defense.

Over the past two years Caslow has become a leader on the team. Senior wide receiver Stefan Sansone, who has grown close to Caslow during their time together on the team, spoke to Caslow’s character on the field.

“He’s very physical and he’s got a nose for the ball,” Sansone said. “He leads by example. He brings a lot of energy to the defense which is key to having a strong and successful defense.”

Caslow said a lot of guys on the defense are key parts of the team, and that he likes to think of himself as one of those players.

And his teammates agree.

“Simply put, he is a savage,” junior quarterback Nick Shafnisky said. “He is a tough player, mentally and physically, he is a leader and he is really committed to the team.”

From being on the field as a freshman to now as a junior, Caslow has had an important presence on the field. As a leader on the team, Caslow said he tries to be a role model for the other players on the field.

“I like to think that a lot of guys look up to me, especially the younger guys out there who play,” he said.

Caslow has had a strong career at Lehigh so far, starting in every game he’s played in since freshman year. As a sophomore, he won the Most Valuable Linebacker award and was named Second Team All-Patriot League, but his list of achievements has only grown since then. Caslow began the 2015 season with a career-high 17 tackles against Central Connecticut State University.

Caslow’s positive energy, leadership and good-teammate qualities are also a part of who he is off the field.

“He is a very caring, trustworthy and loyal friend,” Shafnisky said. “All of these qualities can be seen on and off the field and that is what makes him a great guy to be friends with and a great guy to play with.”

Caslow’s friends and teammates seem to all agree that he is a great person to be around.

“This summer, me and him drove all the way to school from Florida,” said Evan Harvey, a close friend and teammate. “He stayed awake with me the whole 19-hour drive and talked with me. That’s just the kind of guy he is.”

On the field, Caslow is a tough, determined and aggressive player, but off the field he is an outgoing person his teammates enjoy being around.

“I enjoy dancing and singing a lot,” Caslow said. “I sing in the shower all the time. And I love to dance, honestly, you can ask anybody. We play music at practice, and I dance all the time, and sing, even on the practice field.”

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