Tyler Ochojski, DJ Brown and Brycen Edwards pose for their Lehigh individual portraits. The three new recruits join 14 others in Lehigh football's class of 2026. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Lehigh football adds eight on National Signing Day


On National Signing Day, head football coach Tom Gilmore announced the addition of eight student-athletes to the class of 2026, which now officially stands at 17 total. 

The eight signees will join the Mountain Hawks’ football program alongside the nine members who signed during the early signing period in December.

These new recruits — nine offensive and eight defensive — will look to contribute to the dynamic and performance of the team.

Three players in the 2026 class include Brycen Edwards, of Fredericksburg, Virginia; Damien Jay Brown of Leonard, Texas; and Tyler Ochojski of Freehold, New Jersey. 

Edwards said he always knew he was bound to play football since both his father and older brother played at the collegiate level. Edwards played one high school season with his brother at Chancellor High School.

“When he was the quarterback I would run slot receiver,” Edwards said. “We had that Edwards to Edwards connection, which was really cool.”

Besides occasionally playing in the slot, most of Edwards’ talents manifested as a linebacker and running back. Edwards successfully played both sides of the ball in the two different positions.

He was later named both first team all-district as a running back and third team all-region as a linebacker.

Edwards will play as a linebacker for the Mountain Hawks. He said he is spending the offseason getting stronger and gaining weight in preparation for his first collegiate season.

“I’m just focused on learning as much as possible this season and gathering as much experience as I can,” Edwards said.

In addition to training, Edwards said he has been getting to know his future teammates. He will be roommates with Brown next year, who is the only running back of the 2026 class.

“We talk everyday and have been getting so much closer to one another,” Brown said.

Brown — like his future roommate — was named to the all-district team in high school and was awarded the district’s offensive MVP three straight times as well. 

“I credit my coaches, my teammates and everybody for just pushing me week in and week out,” Brown said.

Brown showed promise in other sports aside from football. He earned second-team all-district in baseball, first team all-district in basketball and was  his basketball team’s defensive MVP.

Brown said he understands the responsibilities coming with being the leader, on and off the field. He said he prides himself on being a good role model for his two younger brothers.

Unlike Edwards and Brown, linebacker Tyler Ochojski didn’t pick up the sport until his freshman year of high school.

Standing six feet tall and weighing over 200 pounds, Ochojski was a basketball player growing up. He was named an all-division honoree for Freehold Borough High School. He said he always liked the idea of playing football, but his mother needed to be convinced.

“My mom was always nervous about my concussion problems,” Ochojski said. “My head coach started driving to our house everyday to try and persuade her to let me play. Soon enough, she let me.”

Ochojski quickly became one of the biggest defensive threats on the team. He was named to both the all-conference and all-division teams three times and was awarded the division’s defensive player of the year.

Ochojski said he spent the offseason recovering from two torn labrums, a type of cartilage found in the shoulder joint. He recently completed his second shoulder surgery and said he plans on making a full recovery in time for next season.

After an 0-8 start to 2021, Lehigh finished its season by winning three games straight to close out the season. 

Edwards, Brown and Ochojski all said they can’t wait to be a part of the team in just a few months.

The Mountain Hawks begin their spring practice segment on March 24 and will hold the annual Brown and White Spring Game on April 23 at Goodman Stadium.

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