As a team, Lehigh struggled in a shortened spring football season, but junior defensive back Tygee Leach shined during the unusual season, earning first team All-Patriot League honors.
His impressive performance as an underclassman on and off the field earned Leach the honor of being named team captain for the 2021 fall season.
“I wasn’t surprised at all when he was named our captain,” junior quarterback Cross Wilkinson said. “He makes friends with everyone on the team no matter where you’re from or what position you play. Tygee (Leach) finds a way to connect with every guy on the team and he’s been so successful that guys look up to him.”
Leach started in all three games during the spring 2021 season and was second on the team with 18 tackles. He tied for the team lead with three tackles for loss.
Leach made an impression during the first game of the 2021 spring season against Holy Cross. He recorded a career-high nine tackles, two tackles for losses and his first career interception.
Leach followed up his opening game performance with two more impressive games for the Mountain Hawks, anchoring a defense that allowed 15.3 points per game.
During Leach’s freshman year, he appeared in all 11 games and was named Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week after blocking a punt versus Merrimack College. The blocked punt helped the Mountain Hawks win their first game of the season 10-3.
“Tygee (Leach) has been an impact player ever since he arrived at Lehigh as a freshman,” junior defensive back Lance Sell said. “His veteran presence and work ethic is reflected in his play and he holds his teammates to the highest standard.”
Leach’s immediate impact to the team as a freshman translated in the classroom. He was named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll his freshman year.
Before coming to Lehigh, Leach attended Malvern Prep High School in Malvern, Pennsylvania and was a three sport athlete, excelling in basketball and track and field on top of football. Leach made the varsity basketball team his freshman season before solely committing to football after his sophomore year.
On the high school gridiron, Leach was a two-time first team All-Area, first team All-State defense, first team All-Philadelphia and All-Southeastern Pennsylvania player.
Due to these accomplishments, Leach had many prospects coming out of Malvern Prep, but chose Lehigh because of the university’s academic and athletic opportunities.
“I came to Lehigh because it was a unique opportunity to be able to gain a world class education along with playing in a Division I football program that has great history and tradition,” Leach said.
After a busy offseason, Leach is looking to build on his underclassman success and lead Lehigh to a successful fall 2021 season.
“My ultimate goal is to help the team win a Patriot League Championship and add on to our history,” Leach said.