Quality Depth In Offensive Skill Spots Is Focus In Part 2 Of Preview Series
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Bob Surace knows that depth matters in football. It mattered in the pros, and it matters in the Ivy League.
But depth isn't just about numbers. Quantity without quality is a losing formula.
When it comes to offensive skill players, he believes that Princeton will have both when it opens the 2013 season on the NBC Sports Network against Lehigh (Sept. 21, 6 pm). The numbers back that up.
In the second part of Princeton's seven-part video preview series on the 2013 football season, the panel looks at the running backs and wide receivers, and the impact both spots should have on this offense.
In the running game, Princeton returns leading rusher Will Powers, a junior who averaged 45.5 yards per game last season, as well as sophomore DiAndre Atwater, who rushed for 92 yards against Georgetown before battling through an injury-plagued season.
They also return a pair of speed threats in senior Brian Mills, who moved back to the running back spot after one season at defensive back, and sophomore Dré Nelson, who scored the first touchdown during the fourth-quarter comeback against Harvard.
All four could be immediate factors, though the coaching staff was high on both incoming freshmen A.J. Glass and Joe Rhattigan.
So that's six potential standouts in the run game, and yet that position may have even less depth than the wide receiver spot.
Senior Roman Wilson posted All-Ivy numbers last season, even if his most memorable play was the game-winning touchdown catch against Harvard. His 17.5 yard-per-catch average was the best in the league last year, and he caught at least one touchdown in more than half of his Ivy games.
Junior Matt Costello has averaged three catches per game throughout his career and has been in the top two in receptions for Princeton each of the last two seasons. Juniors Connor Kelley and Seth DeValve both caught at least 20 passes last season and could be in line for far bigger seasons moving forward.
Junior Robby Templeton has worked hard to get himself into the mix, while either sophomore Isaiah Barnes — fully healthy after a preseason injury cost him the 2012 season — or junior Daniel McCord — an Ivy League championship member of two Princeton track relays — could provide a much-needed deep threat for the passing game.
You can watch the preview series video, which includes PrincetonTigersFootball.com writer Jay Greenberg and Princeton radio commentator Dan Loney, by clicking on the play link on the image above. If you are receiving this as an email newsletter, please note that you will need to access this on GoPrincetonTigers.com to view the video.