September 18, 2019

Assuming Role as Co-Captain for Princeton Football, Tight End Adomitis Primed for Historical Campaign

READY TO BALL: Princeton University football senior tight end Graham Adomitis, center, poses with classmates and fellow team captains, defensive lineman Jake Strain, left, and linebacker John Orr at the program’s recently-held media day. Returning first-team All-Ivy League performer Adomitis will looking to help the Tigers make history this fall as the program celebrates its 150th season. The Tigers kick off their 2019 season by hosting Butler (1-2) on September 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Graham Adomitis was a member of the supporting cast last fall as the Princeton University football team rolled to a 10-0 record, achieving the program’s first perfect season since 1964.

With such heralded stars as quarterback John Lovett along with receivers Jesper Horsted and Stephen Carlson sparking a high-powered offense that set a slew of school and league records, tight end Adomitis quietly went about his business, earning All-Ivy League honors mainly due to his stellar blocking.

Looking back to 2018, Adomitis credited the squad’s seniors with setting a winning tone.

“It was an extremely special group; we just had so much buy in and a lot of great senior leadership that just trickled town all the way to the freshman class,” said Adomitis.

“That is the secret of success to a great team, when you have guys from the top to bottom that love coming to practice and work everyday.”

This fall, Adomitis looking to provide that leadership, having been selected as one of the team’s captains along with fellow seniors, linebacker John Orr and defense lineman Jake Strain.

“It is definitely an honor being captain here, especially in this 150th season of college football,” said Adomitis, a 6’4, 255-pound native of Pittsburgh, Pa.

“I am really just taking the approach, making sure that guys can trust me and set an example with what I do. They can lean on me and know that if they ever need anything on or off the field, they can come to me for advice.”

Having followed the example set by Horsted and Carlson, Adomitis acknowledged that there is a void without them on the field.

“It was definitely a different feel because they were such a big presence on our practice field and during the games in the Ivy League,” said Adomitis, referring to spring practice.

“It is not only their presence on the field but they are two of my best friends. They are known as one of the greatest receiver duos in the league’s history, so it was different, but it was also exciting. Looking out on the field, I know that Andrew Griffin, Andrei Iosivas, and Dylan Classi and a couple of other guys who have been waiting their turn, working hard and taking the right approach. I am looking forward to seeing what those guys can do.”

As a returning All-Ivy performer, Adomitis is looking to do even more for the Tigers this fall.

“I have been around for a while and I am comfortable with the role I have had,” said Adomitis, who made 10 catches for 61 yards and a touchdown to go along with his blocking prowess.

“I am trying to continue to build the aspects of my game, passing, blocking, running routes, or whatever they need me to do. I just enjoy being with this team; it is a great group of guys.”

Staying in Princeton this summer with a bunch of the guys on the team helped Adomitis build confidence.

“That is most beneficial for myself and for the guys that are here,” said Adomitis, noting that players worked out every morning from 6 to 8 a.m.

“We make huge strides. We feel like it can give us a step up coming into the season, getting into the best shape possible  physically and mentally being in the playbook. We take a lot of time on our own to run routes and run through plays, putting in extra time away from just the workouts. I enjoy being here in the summer as well. It is hard work but I am around 50 of my best friends and getting after it.”

With college football celebrating the 150th anniversary of the sport, which started when Princeton played a game at Rutgers in November 1869, the Tigers are enjoying being in the limelight but aren’t losing focus on their main goal.

“I don’t know if it is is quite sinking in that we are the program that started college football,” said Adomitis.

“It is a really special thing to be representing that program in this season. There is a little extra attention and extra talk about it because it is the 150th season and we are Princeton, the team that started it. We are embracing that but we are still taking a game by game approach. The goal is still the same, winning the Ivy League championship.”

Fueled by that goal, the Tigers have enjoyed a productive preseason camp.  “We have great energy and it is a fun team to be around,” said Adomitis.

“We have a good group of guys that likes coming out and working, even in the dog days of camp. You are on day eight, day nine and it is the same routine over and over. We are trying to take the mentality to embrace that grind everyday. We have taken the right approach so far, seeing guys on both sides of the ball making plays and standing out.”

With Princeton kicking off the season on September 21 by hosting Butler (1-2), who it defeated 50-7 in last fall’s season opener, Adomitis and his teammate are chomping at the bit to get things started.

“We are excited; this is an interesting time of the year where other teams are stating to play games and we are still in the dog days of camp but that fuels the fire,” said Adomitis

“We are that much more excited to get out there and play somebody else come that first week. We will start prepping for Butler in a week or two but right now we are focused on fine-tuning our own skills with our offense, defense, and special teams before we start focusing on somebody else. We think it is going to be another good matchup with them.”

While last season’s heroics will be tough to match, Adomitis believes the 2019 group can add to the program’s rich legacy.

“I truly believe this team can make another run,” said Adomitis.

“I get the sense that it is a tough group of guys and that toughness is a core characteristic of a team that you need. It is a tough team that is hungry. We know what we did last year but this group here wants something for itself as well. We are preaching, let’s get one for us, let’s make this 2019 team something special as well.”

—Bill Alden