By Melody Miller
Princeton doesn’t start its season until Sept. 17 at Stetson.
And, for the first time in 58 years the Tigers have a chance to repeat as Ivy champs.
“We have a strong group of seniors coming back, leadership-wise,” coach Bob Surace ’90, told Princeton Alumni Weekly.
“I feel we’re in a really good place with older guys, experienced guys that are good mentors.”
Princeton’s home opener is Sept. 24 against Lehigh.
The Tigers went 9-1 to win the Ivy championship in 2021. Their lone loss came against Dartmouth, with which they shared the Ivy title. Led by Ivy Defensive Player of the Year Jeremiah Tyler ’22, who was also a two-time All-America linebacker, an Ivy-best 10 Tigers players earned first-team All-Ivy League honors. Princeton’s Ivy title was its fourth in the last eight seasons, and last year Princeton hosted a bonfire to celebrate beating Harvard and Yale in the same season.
Only offensive lineman Henry Byrd, tight end Carson Bobo, and punter Will Powers return from that group of first-team honorees, although second-team All-Ivy selections of wide receivers Andrei Iosivas and Dylan Classi and defensive lineman Uche Ndukwe also are back and poised to step up. Iosivas and Powers were both named to the 2022 Phil Steele Preseason All-America teams.
It is the burgeoning depth of the Tigers that gives them a chance to win again — depth that was developed further during a welcomed spring practice.
“It’s really the first time since 2019, because of the pandemic, that we were able to do that,” said Surace. “It’s really the best time to develop players. We had so much more individual time with them. … The group of guys that were freshmen that were developing but not getting a lot of playing time, they made the biggest jump. That was nice to see.”