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Football sees 16 players named to All-Ivy teams

Three players were unanimously selected, including two seniors

<h5>Three Tigers received unanimous votes for first-team selections, including junior linebacker Liam Johnson.</h5>
<h6><a href="http://Three Tigers received unanimous votes for first-team selections. @PrincetonFTBL/Twitter. " target="_self">@PrincetonFTBL/Twitter.&nbsp;</a></h6>
Three Tigers received unanimous votes for first-team selections, including junior linebacker Liam Johnson.
@PrincetonFTBL/Twitter. 

Sixteen Princeton football players received All-Ivy honors and seven players received first team recognition, the most of any team in the League.

Selections were announced based on the votes of the conference’s eight head coaches. This year’s 16 selections ties for the program’s second-most since 2013.

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“I think anytime our players get recognized, it feels good,” Head Coach Bob Surace ’90 wrote to The Daily Princetonian. “They work hard and certainly are deserving in my opinion, and I am incredibly happy for them to be selected by the Ivy League coaches.”

Senior offensive lineman Henry Byrd, senior wide receiver Andrei Iosivas, and junior linebacker Liam Johnson were all unanimously chosen as first-team selections.

“Henry and Andrei are senior captains, and Liam was a junior with all the leadership traits our captains have,” Surace said. “All three work hard, are good students, mature individuals, have great attitudes, and have the drive to be the best players at their positions.”

Byrd earned a unanimous vote for the first-team honor after his fourth year as an instrumental offensive tackle for the Princeton football team.

“Even though the season did not end the way we had hoped, being selected for All-Ivy helps put in perspective all the hard work my teammates and I have done over the last five years,”  Byrd wrote. “The success we have had over my career here is pretty astonishing and has been a group effort with every player and the coaches, so it is a huge honor to be mentioned as an integral part of it all.”

As a first-year in 2018, Byrd received the Donold B. Lourie Award as the top offensive first-year. As he ends his career, he has received the All-Ivy League honor three times. In both 2021 and 2022, he was selected for the first-team.

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“I also think our performance staff deserves kudos for developing our players,” Surace added. “The year to year growth has been terrific for our juniors and seniors.”

Iosivas earned a unanimous first-team selection after leading the Ivy League in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown catches this past season. He additionally became the third Tiger to receive an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl and is a 2022 Football Championship Subdivision Walter Payton Award Finalist. During his Princeton career, Iosivas brought in 16 touchdown catches — the third most in program history.

Johnson was also selected unanimously to the first team. He averaged 9.9 tackles per Ivy League game and 13 per contest in the last two weeks of the season. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Tigers this season, including the particularly memorable 92-yard fumble return against Penn.

“Getting selected is an honor, and I am continuously grateful I get to carry on the legacy and tradition of players like John Lovett and Kurt Holuba who created the foundation for me to thrive,” wrote Johnson. “My only goal is to continue to build a foundation and a legacy of hard work and grit for guys after me.” As a junior, Johnson will return next season to play for the Tigers.

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Former Tigers quarterback John Lovett ’19 and defensive lineman Kurt Holuba ’19 were co-captains of the football team in 2018, the first undefeated Princeton team since 1964. Lovett earned first-team All-Ivy honors his senior year and currently plays for the Miami Dolphins. 

Senior wide receiver Dylan Classi, senior defensive lineman Matthew Jester, senior defensive back Michael Ruttlen Jr., and senior defensive back CJ Wall also earned first-team recognition.

Aside from Iosivas, Classi led all other Ivy League receivers in both catches and receiving yards. He contributed four touchdowns to the Tigers’ offense this season and ended his football career ranked fifth in Princeton history for all time receiving yards.

Jester led the Tigers in tackles for loss and sacks, and he contributed three interceptions and 37 tackles to the team.

Since his first year with the team in 2017, Wall has worked through many injuries. As a senior, he started every game, and he finished the year tied for second most passes defended in the Ivy League.

“They all have unique stories, and I appreciate the coverage that guys like Uche Ndukwe and CJ Wall received overcoming some challenging medical hardships to finish with such successful careers,” Surace said.

Junior offensive lineman Jalen Travis, junior quarterback Blake Stenstrom, senior tight end Carson Bobo, and junior linebacker Ozzie Nicholas all earned second-team honors. Senior offensive lineman Connor Scaglione, first-year running back Ryan Butler, senior defensive lineman Uche Ndukwe, and sophomore wide receiver AJ Barber each earned honorable mentions.

One Ivy League student-athlete from each school was also named to the Academic All-Ivy team, which recognizes players for their commitment both in the classroom and on the field. From Princeton, senior linebacker Cole Aubrey was named to the 2022 Academic All-Ivy team.

“Princeton challenges student-athletes,” wrote Surace. “For our team, we push them to reach their potential as D1 football players, and our faculty pushes them to reach their potential as high level students. It is not for everyone, but I have seen this during my time as a [student-athlete] and now as a coach, those who choose Princeton will grow more here than anywhere else.”

On the field, Aubrey contributed 18 tackles, four of which produced a loss of yards, and two sacks. He was also named to the CSC All-District Team.

“Cole exemplifies what it takes,” wrote Surace on Aubrey’s commitment. “He has excellent time management.  He pushes himself academically. He pushes himself athletically. He has had tremendous success in both areas. I am thrilled the Ivy League recognized his efforts and honored him.”

With the Ivy League season over, other honors will soon be announced. The 2022 Asa S. Bushnell Cup, which will honor the Ivy League offensive and defensive players of the year, will be awarded on Dec. 12 at the New York Athletic Club. The finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 29.

“I have enjoyed every moment — recruiting them, watching them progress their first year, seeing them begin to reach their ability as sophomores, and then becoming elite players and leaders as juniors,” Surace added.

Nishka Bahl is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’ Please direct any corrections requests to corrections[at]dailyprincetonian.com.

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