Over the course of their four years on the Lehigh football team, senior quarterback Brad Mayes and senior running back Dominick Bragalone established themselves as key components of the program’s success. Both men have grown as players and as leaders for the rest of the team. The decorated athletes sat down with The Brown and White to reflect on their careers at Lehigh and talk about their future plans.
Q: During the last four years, how have you grown as a player?
Brad Mayes: A big improvement for me was just my football IQ over the four years. You know, in high school, I didn’t come from that big of a high school so I was able to be athletically more talented than everybody. I never had to watch a film or dissect the defense. But when I got to college, that athletic ability kind of evens out. I had to go to other places like the weight room and film and things like that.
Dominick Bragalone: My freshman year I was kind of a quiet kid. So when I joined the football team, a lot of guys kind of noticed that I was a little homesick, so they took me under their wing. After my freshman year, I became a lot more comfortable at Lehigh and with football. I’m a completely different person, a lot more open. I was captain this year, so my leadership has gone up like crazy. I’m a vocal leader now.
Q: What was your favorite moment of your Lehigh career?
BM: My favorite moment of my career, I’d say I have two. Individually, statistically would be my sophomore year when I set the school record in passing yards. I think that would be my individual moment. My team moment would be we started junior year 0-5 and we came back and won the Patriot League Championship, which is something that not a lot of people can do. I think it was probably those two moments.
DB: Our junior year, we were playing Lafayette for the Patriot League championship. There’s a lot on the line, either win the game and win the championship or we lose and lose the championship. And it’s obviously Lafayette, so it’s a big game in and of itself. So we won, and we were down and we came back, and we won only by a touchdown. That’s probably one of the craziest games I’ve played since I’ve been here.
Q: With graduation approaching, what is next for you?
BM: I’m probably going to stick with football for a year or two, and kind of see what happens there. I’m still waiting on a couple of phone calls, and I’ve gotten a couple of camp invites from teams as well. So I’m probably just going to try to stick with the football route for a couple of years, and maybe get into coaching.
DB: Right now I’m focusing on football, I’m trying to continue to play in the NFL. This past weekend the Giants invited me to play in their rookie mini camp, so I’ll be doing that this weekend. And hopefully, if I perform well, I will sign to the Giants. That’s the goal. And if football doesn’t work out for me, I always got my Lehigh degree to back me up, which is an awesome thing in and of itself. So it’s either right now football or down the road hopefully use my psychology degree.
Q: Any advice for the incoming freshman players and the rest of your lowerclassmen teammates?
BM: What I would tell them would be to enjoy it. I know this is a cliche, but it does go by fast. When I was a freshman and sophomore, it felt like every day just went slowly and slowly. But now that I’m a senior, I look back and say ‘where did the time go’? I’d say just enjoy the moment. Enjoy playing at a school like this that has a lot of people that do care about the football program, and people that care about how you do in classrooms, on the field and in the weight room. Just soaking it all in and enjoy yourself.
DB: Continue to work, and no matter what, keep your head up. You can achieve anything you set your mind to. Especially for the freshmen coming in, it’s a huge change from high school to college, in school and in football. Just gravitate toward the upperclassmen, the captains, they’re really looking out for you, and it’s not as bad as it might seem. So just keep pushing and keep working, and good things will happen.