Growing up in the Lehigh Valley, Matt Laub was no stranger to his now alma mater.
Because he lived nearby, coaches from both Lehigh and Lafayette, as well as other neighboring schools, would come to see his high school games. With a recruiting process consisting mainly of Patriot League schools, Laub started visiting a variety of campuses. But when he stepped onto Lehigh’s campus, he fell in love with it.
Laub can recall thinking to himself, “I want to spend my next four years here.”
Laub, a senior finance major from Coplay, Pennsylvania, is a defensive end and captain of the Lehigh football team. He has appeared in 31 games during his four years at Lehigh. Presently, Laub has a career total of 71 tackles, including 51 solo tackles and eight sacks. As a junior, he was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week after a game against Colgate University. This season, Laub has totaled 28 tackles and four sacks thus far.
Laub’s transition from high school to college was smooth. Because he was a local, he was familiar with the area and used to everything that surrounded the school. Even though he was close to home, Laub said that his parents were good with letting him have his independence.
“My mom and dad were great,” Laub said. “They would leave me alone as much as I wanted, but I was still able to go home and get a hot meal whenever I wanted.”
Laub also credits his easy transition to getting along with his teammates. He said that he tries to be a fun guy who is friends with everyone. He cares a lot about the relationships he forms with people — his friends said it’s apparent.
Teammate, friend and junior linebacker Colton Caslow said Laub cares about every player on the team.
“He is someone I know I can always count on,” Caslow said.
Senior wide receiver Stefan Sansone can also attest to Laub’s friendly and caring personality.
“He was one of the first guys I met on campus,” Sansone said. “I was having a rough time my first few months at school and Matt was always there for me and really helped me through it.”
Laub stands out as an athlete as well as a friend. Sansone described him as a tremendous leader on the field. He said he leads by example and is very enthusiastic and passionate towards the team.
“He eats and breathes Lehigh football,” Sansone said.
As a captain this year, Laub credits his abilities as a leader to the coaches and older players who have mentored him throughout his seasons at Lehigh, turning him into the player that he is today.
Laub said, every year, the older players on the team would take him under their wings, slowly molding him into a leader. Now it’s his turn to teach the younger guys. With Saturday’s 151st rivalry game as the last game of the season, Laub said that he hopes to be as much of a leader and role model as he can.
While football has been such a large part of his time at Lehigh, Laub is also involved in other groups on campus. He is a member of Chi Psi fraternity, where he has filled the roles of vice president of membership recruitment and president. He has also been a part of the Student Athlete Council and Leadership Legacies.
Going into the game against Lafayette and the final game of his football career, Laub said could not be more excited. Coming off a tough loss against Colgate, he said he is ready to get back on the field and beat the Leopards. For Laub and the other seniors, this is the last time putting on a Lehigh uniform. They understand that the team’s desire to finish with a win.
“We treat Lafayette like it’s a whole new season,” Laub said. “It’s an absolute grudge match.”
As he looks on his time here at Lehigh, he said he couldn’t be happier with his career and his four years spent as a Mountain Hawk. Though he’ll graduate without having secured a championship at Lehigh, Laub is confident in his choice to attend and play for the university.
“You live and you learn,” said Laub. “That’s the game of football.”