Only two players who scored touchdowns for 1-9 Princeton last season are returning in 2011.
Quarterback Tommy Wornham ’12, crossed the goal line twice before injury cut short his season. Tailback Brian Mills ’14 did once. The 2010 season exploded because of vast injuries and infinite errors. But if there is going to be a fast turnaround, Coach Bob Surace ’90 is going to need guys who can turn around an opposing linebacker or defensive back.
That means Isaac Serwanga ’13 has to become the wideout he has been challenged to be by Surace, and running backs like Akil Sharp ’13 will need to prove they can be productive. With Mills back, Kevin Navetta ’13 running well through three days of practice, and freshmen Chuck Dibilio, Will Power, and Jon Esposito already convincing Surace they will earn playing time this year, Sharp could be the chair of a committee of up to six tailbacks.
“I think they are all going to help us,” Surace said.
Heaven help the Tigers, however, if Serwanga doesn’t blossom. Converted quarterback Connor Kelly ’14 and junior tight ends Des Smith and Mark Hayes have a chance to be solid complimentary receivers, but they can’t thrive if Serwanga isn’t scaring opponents into double-teaming him.
“Isaac came back in great shape and has made some really good plays,” said Surace Friday after practice. “Tommy is leaning on him now – there’s a trust factor after a summer of working together.
“A guy of that size [6 feet, 3 inches] and range who can get up on a defensive back that quickly, that’s tough to cover. Isaac is bigger than the good corners in the league like our Blake Clemons [’12].
“He still has to be more consistent, there are still some technique things that we’ll get done. But I could tell when he would stop by my office to chat that there was a confidence to him, not a defensiveness like ‘what do I need to do?’ He not only did it, but went above it. I like guys like that.”