HERO Sports welcomes you to "Two-a-Days", where we will preview every single one of the 125 FCS programs, with two being released each day from June 18 to August 18 (with the final day having three in one day). Today we give you … Princeton.
Princeton (5-5 IN 2017)
Ivy League (Princeton was 7th in 2017)
COACH: Bob Surace – 9th year (38-42)
2017 OFFENSE: 38.2 ppg. (3rd in FCS)
2017 DEFENSE: 26.5 ppg. (66th in FCS)
SUM IT UP: Don't let the above data fool you — Princeton was good in 2017, and they'll probably be good again in 2018. The Tigers were on track to challenge for the Ivy League title when back-to-back-to-back stretch games derailed an extremely promising season. Princeton lost three games to Cornell, Penn and eventual champion Yale by a combined eight points before losing the season finale at Dartmouth, 54-44. The Tigers, who were once 5-1, ended the season at .500. Princeton's eventual fate was much more tied to happenstance than lack of talent.
Much of that skill talent on offense returns for 2018, including record-busting receivers Jesper Horsted and Stephen Carlson. Charlie Volker, who led the Ivy League in rushing touchdowns in 2017, is also back. Ivy League Player of the Year Chad Kanoff, who played quarterback for the Tigers last fall, is not.
Princeton will need to solve its quarterback dilemna before the season begins, but there are plenty of guys waiting in the wings to take control of the offense. Coach Surace's programs is in something of a golden age when it comes to producing quarterbacks, so even though the Tigers will need to rebuild an offensive line that lost three starters to graduation, the Tigers' offense is unlikely to fall off a cliff any time soon.
BEST-CASE SCENARIO: Princeton starts its season at 7-0, which includes a revenge victory over Columbia and a dramatic shootout with Lehigh. How the Tigers handle their final three games — Dartmouth, at Yale, Penn — will determine the legacy of their 2018 team.
TOP RETURNEE: WR Jesper Horsted (All Southland HM – 72 tackles, 5 PD).
THE NEXT FIVE: LB Tom Johnson (First-Team All-Ivy, Leading Tackler w/ 95 tackles, 7.5 TFL's); OL Reily Radosevich (Second-Team All-Ivy, 10 Starts at RT in '17); WR Stephen Carlson (Second-Team All-Ivy, 935 Receiving Yards, 11 Receiving TD's); RB Charlie Volker (Second-Team All-Ivy, Led League with 14 Rushing TD's); DB CJ Wall (All-Ivy HM, 8 PBU's, 3 INT's).
TOP NEWCOMER: QB Brevin White (Four-Star Recruit).
DID YOU KNOW?: Three of the eight current Supreme Court Justices attended Princeton — Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.
THE QUOTE: "I like how those guys work. I like how that room operates. There's been a great culture here, especially with Quinn [Epperly] and Connor Michelson and the efforts they made to pass that down to Chad [Kanoff] and John [Lovett]. Now we see these young guys coming up, and they're going to continue that culture. When you have three players of the year at one position in five years and you break almost every Ivy League record, that position gets a lot of attention." -Head Coach Bob Surace in the spring, on the recent run of success by Princeton quarterbacks.
SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTLIGHT
THE HASHTAG: #T19erTown
FOOTBALL TWITTER: @PUTigerFootball
From being a gridiron superhero to becoming the Man of Steel on TV, @RealDeanCain’s story is a truly incredible one.
— USA Football (@usafootball) June 27, 2018