Eight days before the football team opens the 2012 season, Princeton’s coaching staff has not yet determined who its starting quarterback will be in week one. Head coach Bob Surace ’90 said at the team's annual media day that sophomores Quinn Epperly and Connor Michelsen have been “neck-and-neck” since the beginning of the off-season and freshman Kedric Bostic will figure into the signal-calling mix as well.
The left-handed Epperly appeared in six games in 2011, starting the season finale at Dartmouth. He completed only 23 of 52 passes for 259 yards but added 215 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns. Michelsen saw minor playing time in three games, connecting on three of five passes and tossing one interception.
Bostic, a 6-foot, 3-inch passer from Jupiter, Fla., has impressed coaches throughout fall camp. He threw for 1,803 yards and rushed for 1,127 more as a senior at Jupiter Christian High in 2011.
Surace said the coaching staff would make a decision soon about who will take snaps when the Tigers visit Lehigh on Sept. 15. But it will not be made public until the last minute, as the team tries to turn its lack of game preparation (Lehigh will have already played two games) into an asset.
“We don’t have any information that [Lehigh] can use on us. So even if I knew who would start, I wouldn’t tell you … if I did, I’d have to kill you,” Surace joked.
Bostic is not the only rookie who could make an immediate impact for the Tigers; five rookies were listed as second-stringers on the team’s preliminary depth chart. While the Class of 2016 might not have another Chuck Dibilio – who earned Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors after rushing for 1,068 yards, a conference record for true freshmen – Princeton’s recruits, especially at the skill positions, have plenty of speed.
“We got the stopwatches out on the first day, and we were like, whoa,” Surace said. “We brought in a lot of skill guys, and they can really run. They might not be able to do things for 50 plays, because they’re not strong enough yet … but they are physically impressive.”
Surace called the Tigers a “very mature team,” but whether Princeton can turn that maturity into a successful season remains to be seen. After winning a total of two games in Surace’s first two seasons —a span in which they were outscored by an even 16 points per game — the Tigers must improve in several areas to compete with an increasingly talented Ivy League.
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2012/09/07/31068/