Tyler is Unanimous All-Ivy
BY JAY GREENBERG
If an 8-2 season didn’t fully substantiate that all the talent driving an undefeated season in 2018 had not graduated, then a total of 10 Tigers named to the 2019 All-Ivy First and Second Teams made an even deeper statement about the ongoing state of the program.
Only two of the ten – Alex Deters, a first team center and second team kicker Tavish Rice – are graduating this time, a preliminary statement about the promise of the team for 2020 and a reflection of the regeneration of star talent. Only 5 of the 25 Ivy players given first team honors were not seniors and two of them – junior linebacker Jeremiah Tyler, and junior cornerback Delan Stallworth – played for Princeton.
Of the seven Princeton players named to the second team, six will be returning – running back Collin Eaddy, wide receiver Jacob Birmelin, tight end Carson Bobo, defensive lineman Sam Wright, offensive tackle Henry Byrd, and punter Will Powers, the first Tiger to be honored as a freshman since Anthony Gaffney in 2013.
The Tigers will be reloaded come fall with engine players, starting with Tyler, the outside linebacker who was one of only four unanimous choices by the league coaches, the others being Yale quarterback Kurt Rawlings, Dartmouth linebacker Jack Traynor and Dartmouth cornerback Isiah Swann.
“As I said multiple times this year, Jeremiah Tyler makes our defense go,” said Bob Surace ’90. “He fills up the stat sheet; among the league leaders in tackles, tackles for losses and sacks.”
“His ability in coverage sometimes goes unnoticed, but is greatly appreciated by our coaches. JT stands with guys like Mike Catapano (’14) and Mike Zeuli (’15) as one of the highest effort players I have coached.”
Stallworth, who made the second team in 2018, elevated himself to first team status this time by playing men as well as he did he ball.
“In addition to being an excellent cover corner, Delan finished third in the league in tackles per game and had four tackles for a loss, an incredible number for a corner,” said Surace. “I can’t recall ever coaching someone at that position with this many. Delan has been a top leader for us, mostly by example as he plays the game with energy and toughness.”
“Alex Deters’s terrific balance and quick feet have made him a rock in the interior of our offensive line the past two years. He is an outstanding leader, is a terrific communicator, and has consistently graded high for his starts.”
Kevin Davidson finished behind Rawlings and second teamer Jared Gerbino of Dartmouth, the quarterbacks of the Ivy co-champions. As an honorable mention, Davidson had plenty of good company, including Princeton senior offensive tackle Brent Holder, senior defensive lineman Joey DeMarco, junior middle linebacker James Johnson, senior safety TJ Floyd, and Birmelin again as a return specialist, bringing the total number of Tigers receiving recognition to 15.
“It’s really an honor to make any one of these teams, and the quality of the players in our league has made the process impossible to be perfect” said Surace..
“Kevin is Princeton’s all-time leader in completion percentage. Tavish led the country in touchbacks and was 5 for 8 on field goals. Wright makes plays chasing people down that you don’t often see from defensive linemen. The sky is the limit for him.
“Carson had 23 catches as a tight end for an offense that spreads the ball around and is emerging as a blocker. Birmelin was so steady; every week you could mark him down for big time 3rd down catches, and yards after the catch, It wasn’t just the level of his play, but how consistent he was for all ten games.”
“Collin led the league in touchdowns, got tough yards, made big blocks and catches, everything you want in an elite back. As a sophomore, Henry already is one of the best offensive linemen in the league and is going to improve technically and get stronger.”
The co-champions shared 11 of the 27 first team spots and 23 of the 57 overall, Dartmouth placing 13 and Yale 10. Harvard freshman running back Aiden Borguet was named rookie of the year and Dartmouth’s Buddy Teevens the coach of the year.