BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Glacier defensive lineman Harrison Kauffman signed a National Letter of Intent to play football at Lehigh University this fall, one of two Glacier High stars to sign with a NCAA Division I school on Wednesday. Kauffman is part of a 31-player class that signed to play with the Mountain Hawks, who play in the Patriot League of the Football Championship Subdivision.
Kauffman, listed at 6-foot-2, 260 pounds, chose Lehigh over offers from other D-I programs, including the Ivy League’s University of Pennsylvania. As a senior for the Wolfpack, Kauffman recorded 52 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble, earning all-state honors in helping Glacier win its first state championship.
“I fell in love with Lehigh’s principles,” Kauffman said. “Their principles are faith, family and football. Those are three things that I really believe in as a person, that’s one of the reasons I chose it.”
Kauffman, who is also an honors student at Glacier also leaned towards programs with high academics. He is currently undecided on a major but is leaning toward finance.
“I wanted to find the balance of a school where I could play football, have a good time doing that, but also be invested academically,” Kauffman said.
The small-town feel of the university was also a draw.
“Lehigh feels closer to home,” Kauffman said. “It’s in the mountains. The players are very down to Earth. Some of the Ivies I visited were a little bit too city.”
Kauffman is one of four defensive linemen recruited to the large class for the Mountain Hawks. Lehigh also signed five offensive line recruits in a group that now makes up more than a third of the roster.
“Big guys are always important and we have good group on both sides of the ball,” Lehigh coach Andy Coen said in a statement released by the university. “That’s always going to be a main point of recruitment. Now it’s a matter of getting the right big guys who are athletic and will help us in our offensive and defensive schemes.”
Lehigh finished 3-8 overall last season and 2-4 in the Patriot League. The team is hoping this freshman class is part of a turnaround for the program.