October 16, 2019

LEADING THE CHARGE: Princeton University football player Jeremiah Tyler blitzes in a game last season. Last Friday evening, junior linebacker Tyler helped lead the defensive charge as Princeton defeated visiting Lafayette 28-3. Tyler had six tackles with 2.5 for a loss. The Tigers, now 4-0 overall and 1-0 Ivy League, play at Brown (1-3 overall, 0-1 Ivy) on October 19. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jeremiah Tyler emerged as a defensive force last fall in his sophomore season for the Princeton University football team.

Linebacker Tyler earned second-team All-Ivy League honors, recording 29 tackles, including five for losses, and two interceptions in helping Princeton go 10-0.

But while the 6’2, 225-pound Tyler’s athleticism and knack for making the big play marks him as a standout, he is more focused on helping the squad than individual glory.

“I am trying to lead my guys to a victory each and every week and get better every practice because that is what really matters,” said Tyler, a native of Detroit, Mich. “It is not about my role; it is about all of us playing together because we are a team. There is no me.”

Last Friday evening, Tyler and the Tiger defense played very well, stifling visiting Lafayette in a 28-3 win before 4,521 at Princeton Stadium that improved Princeton to 4-0 and extended its winning streak to 14. more

October 9, 2019

GETTING THE CALL: Princeton University running back Collin Eaddy heads upfield last Saturday against Columbia. Junior star Eaddy rushed for 60 yards and a touchdown and had 52 yards receiving with a TD catch to help Princeton defeat Columbia 21-10. The 19th-ranked Tigers, now 3-0 and riding a 13-game winning streak, host Lafayette on October 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Coming into this fall, Collin Eaddy was fully prepared to be the featured running back for the Princeton University football team.

“It has been a cool experience, I got groomed into it playing behind Charlie [Volker], I was able to learn a ton from him and I really appreciate that,” said Eaddy, a 5’11, 210-pound native of Raleigh, N.C., who gained 663 yards last year as an understudy to the now-graduated Volker.

“Quigs [senior Ryan Quigley] is also an older guy so it was learning from those guys and spending a lot of time in the offseason working on various little aspects of my game.” more

BREAKING THROUGH: Princeton University field hockey player Claire Donovan gets ready to hit the ball in recent action. Last Friday, sophomore Donovan notched the first two goals of her college career, helping Princeton rally to a 4-3 win over Yale in overtime. The Tigers, who overcame a 4-1 deficit to defeat No. 2 Duke 5-4 in overtime last Sunday to improve to 7-4, host Columbia on October 12. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Claire Donovan started going to Princeton University field hockey games when she was in elementary school.

With older sisters Kaitlin ’10, Amy ’13, and Annabeth ’19 having all starred for the Tigers, Donovan has been around the program for a long time.

When Donovan emerged as a field hockey standout in her own right for Unionville High (Pa.) a few years ago, she toyed with the idea of playing somewhere else in college but ended up following in the footsteps of her sisters and came to Princeton. more

October 2, 2019

SEVEN UP: Princeton University quarterback Kevin Davidson directs traffic in recent action. Last Saturday at Bucknell, senior Davidson produced an historic performance, breaking the Princeton single-game record and the Ivy League record with seven touchdown passes as the Tigers rolled to a 56-23 win over the Bison. Princeton, now 2-0, hosts Columbia on October 5 in the Ivy League opener for both teams. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Bob Surace was looking for his Princeton University football team to make a big jump from its season opener as it played at Bucknell last Saturday in the second game of the season.

But in the early stages of the contest, it looked like Princeton may be taking a step back after its 49-7 win over Butler in its 2019 debut as the Bison jumped out to a 7-0 lead and the teams were tied 14-14 midway through the second quarter.

“From my experiences in the NFL, every year you play teams coming off a bye, that is a huge advantage for them,” said Princeton head coach Surace, who spent 10 years as an assistant coach for the Cincinnati Bengals before taking the helm of his alma mater before the 2010 season. more

BIG BEN: Princeton University men’s soccer player Ben Martin, left, goes after the ball in a 2018 game. Last week, senior midfielder Martin scored a goal to help Princeton defeat Drexel 3-1. The Tigers, who improved to 4-2 with the victory, were slated to play at St. Joseph’s on October 1 before starting their Ivy League campaign with a game at Dartmouth on October 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

It appears that Ben Martin is saving his best for last as he goes through his senior season for the Princeton University men’s soccer team.

The midfielder tallied a goal and an assist to help Princeton defeat Fairleigh Dickinson University 4-0 on September 21.

Three days later as Princeton hosted Drexel, Martin struck again, taking a feed from Kevin O’Toole and heading the ball into the back of the net to put the Tigers up 1-0.

“Whenever you see Kevin with the ball, you have to start running,” said Martin, a 6’2, 184-pound native of Irvine, Calf. “Kevin can put it on a dime.” more

September 25, 2019

SHOWING HIS WORTH: Princeton University defensive back Delan Stallworth corrals a Butler player last Saturday in the season opener for the Tigers. Junior Stallworth made a team-high eight tackles and had an interception to spearhead a stifling defensive effort as Princeton rolled to a 49-7 win over the Bulldogs. The Tigers, who have posted 11 straight victories, will look to keep on the winning track as they play at Bucknell (0-3) on September 28. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last fall as the Princeton University football team rolled to a 10-0 record, the defense flew under the radar, overshadowed by an offensive unit that averaged an Ivy League-record 47 points a game.

Boasting eight returning starters, the Tiger defense was primed to come out flying as Princeton opened its 2019 campaign by hosting Butler University last Saturday evening.

“This camp, we emphasized running to the ball,” said junior defensive back Delan Stallworth. “When we came out here tonight, everybody was excited to play for the first game.” more

GEE WHIZ: Princeton University women’s soccer player Tatum Gee controls the ball in game last year. Last Sunday, junior Gee notched the first goal of her college career, scoring the lone tally of the game as Princeton edged William & Mary 1-0 last Sunday. The Tigers, now 3-3-2 overall, host Yale (6-2) on September 28 in the Ivy League opener for both teams. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Tatum Gee didn’t score a goal in her first 42 games for the Princeton University women’s soccer team.

The junior picked a good time to break the ice, scoring the lone tally as Princeton edged William & Mary 1-0 last Sunday.

“I was so excited, it was a great pass; Olivia Kane just slipped it through and it wasn’t hard to put it in,” said Gee, a native of Buena Park, Calif. “It is an amazing feeling. I am hoping the team can ride this kind of high and start a winning streak.”

Gee acknowledged that Princeton was primed to resume its winning ways on a day when the program welcomed back its all-time winningest coach, Julie Shackford (203-115-29 in 20 seasons at Princeton, including an NCAA College Cup semifinal appearance in 2004 and eight NCAA tournament bids), who is now guiding William & Mary. more

September 18, 2019

STARTING POINT: Princeton University football head coach Bob Surace makes a point to reporters at the program’s recently-held media day. Coming off a 10-0 season in 2018, the program’s first perfect campaign since 1964, Surace will be looking for the program to make more history this fall in conjunction with the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the sport which started when Princeton played Rutgers in November, 1869. The Tigers kick off their 2019 season by hosting Butler University (1-2) on September 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton University football players file into their locker room tucked in the bowels of Princeton Stadium, they pass by a sign that reads “Where Football Began.”

With college football celebrating the 150th anniversary of the sport, which started when Princeton played a game at Rutgers on November 6, 1869, the milestone holds special meaning for the Tigers.

“Players need to understand how important it is to Princeton as a university; those early years really started what we now have in this game,” said Princeton head coach Bob Surace ’91, a star offensive lineman for the Tigers during his college days. more

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. more

STICKING WITH IT: Princeton University field hockey player Clara Roth hits the ball against Penn State last Sunday. Junior star striker Roth scored both goals for fifth-ranked Princeton as it rallied for a 2-1 win over the Nittany Lions. The Tigers, now 3-1, host No. 21 Rutgers on September 20 and No. 3 UConn on September 22. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Clara Roth emerged as a force last fall for the Princeton University field hockey team, scoring 13 goals on the way to being named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year.

As junior striker Roth started the 2019 season, she had a quiet first weekend, picking up one assist as Princeton fell 4-3 to North Carolina on September 6 before edging Wake Forest 2-1 in double overtime two days later.

With Princeton hosting Albany last Friday and Penn State on Sunday, Roth displayed the form that earned her accolades last year. She had three assists in a 4-3 win over Albany and then scored both goals as Princeton rallied from a 1-0 deficit to edge Penn State 2-1. more

FEELING AT HOME: Princeton University men’s soccer player Walker Gillespie heads the ball last Wednesday evening against Rider University. Freshman forward Gillespie enjoyed a memorable home debut, tallying a goal and an assist to help Princeton edge Rider 2-1. Princeton, which dropped to 1-2 with a 2-0 loss at Loyola last Friday, plays at Monmouth on September 18 and at FDU on September 21 before hosting Drexel on September 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Walker Gillespie didn’t see himself being an impact player as he made his home debut for the Princeton University men’s soccer team last Wednesday evening when it hosted Rider.

“I really wasn’t thinking I was going to play that much today,” said freshman forward Gillespie, a 6’3, 185-pound native of Charlotte, N.C. “Once I got in there I just wanted to give 100 percent.”

Gillespie got on the pitch at Roberts Stadium in the first half but didn’t get to play many balls as the Tigers were stymied by the Broncs for much of the first half as the local rivals played to a scoreless draw heading into intermission. more

September 11, 2019

SPLIT DECISION: Princeton University field hockey player Hannah Davey goes after the ball in a 2018 game. Last Sunday, sophomore star midfielder Davey tallied a goal and an assist to help fifth-ranked Princeton edge No. 10 Wake Forest 2-1 in double overtime to wrap up its opening weekend. The Tigers, who fell 4-3 to No. 1 North Carolina on Friday to begin is campaign, host No. 20 Albany (1-2) on September 13 and No. 17 Penn State (0-3) on September 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Playing in 90 degree heat as it opened its season at top-ranked North Carolina last Friday, the No. 5 Princeton University field hockey team got off to a sizzling start.

Princeton jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the Tar Heels 21:47 into the contest on goals by freshman Sammy Popper and senior Taylor Nolan and built a 3-1 advantage by halftime as Popper added another tally.

“We got off to a great start, we were very productive in the circle and we got a couple on the board,” said Princeton head coach Carla Tagliente. more

WORLD VIEW: Princeton University men’s volleyball star Parker Dixon (No. 22) tracks the ball in a game last season. Over the summer, rising senior Dixon competed for USA Volleyball at the World University Games in Naples, Italy. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Justin Feil

Parker Dixon is returning to Princeton University this fall with his first international volleyball experience.

The senior from Dallas, Texas was selected as one of 12 players to compete for USA Volleyball at the World University Games in Naples, Italy.

“It was a huge honor to be selected to this team,” said Dixon, the outside hitter who led the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) in total attacks last year.

“There are a lot of great players around the country and to be selected as one of the ones to be able to represent the U.S. in this type of event is a huge honor. I was really excited to get that chance to go and put a USA jersey on and play.” more

HEWING TO THE LINE: Princeton University women’s soccer player Eve Hewins, left, battles a Rutgers player for the ball last Saturday night at Roberts Field. Junior defender Hewins came up big as Princeton battled No. 21 Rutgers to a scoreless draw through regulation and 20 minutes of overtime. The Tigers, now 2-1-1, play at No. 15 Georgetown (3-2-1) on September 12 and at Maryland (3-2-1) on September 15. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After it was over, Eve Hewins collapsed to the turf at Roberts Field, unable to stand up for several minutes.

Hewins was demonstrating the effects of having played all 110 minutes for the Princeton University women’s soccer team as it battled No. 21 and undefeated Rutgers to a scoreless draw through regulation and 20 minutes of overtime.

Getting tended to by the trainer and gulping some Gatorade, junior defender Hewins finally got to her feet and reflected on the effort as the Tigers moved to 2-1-1. more

September 4, 2019

TOOLING AROUND: Princeton University men’s soccer player Kevin O’Toole, right, battles for possession in a 2018 game. O’Toole was named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year and the junior midfielder/forward figures to be a go-to scorer for the Tigers again this fall. Princeton kicks off its 2019 season by playing at No. 10 Duke (2-0) on September 6. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Although the Princeton University men’s soccer team was thrilled to win the Ivy League title last fall, Jim Barlow knows that triumph will make things harder on this year’s squad.

“There has never been a Princeton men’s soccer team that has won back-to-back Ivy Titles,” said Princeton head coach Barlow, who guided the Tigers to a 10-5-3 overall record and 5-1-1 Ivy in 2018, winning the fifth league title in his 23-season tenure guiding the program.

“It is pretty rare in our league because there is so much parity in our league. The big challenge for us is understanding how difficult it was to win the league last year and not taking anything for granted this year. The target is going to be on us. Every team is going to know who won the league last year and rise to give a great effort against us. We have got to be prepared for that and have the right mentality to deal with that.” more

HIGH NOON: Princeton University women’s soccer player Caroline Noonan, right, goes up for a ball in a 2018 game. Last Sunday, sophomore midfielder Noonan notched the first goal of her career in a losing cause as Princeton fell 2-1 to Boston College in its home opener. The Tigers, now 1-1, host Boston University (0-3-1) on September 5 and Rutgers (4-0) on September 7. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

As the Princeton University women’s soccer team hosted Boston College last Sunday night in its home opener, it was locked in a scoreless battle with the Eagles an half hour into the contest,

But then BC struck for two goals in a three-minute span as Sam Smith scored at the 30:39 mark and then at 33:43 and the game became an uphill battle for the Tigers.

Princeton responded with a goal by sophomore midfielder Caroline Noonan late in the first half and applied pressure on the Eagles for the rest of the night but couldn’t break through with the equalizer in losing 2-1. more

August 28, 2019

HOLDING COURT: Princeton University women’s soccer player Courtney O’Brien controls the ball in a game last fall. Senior midfielder/forward O’Brien has emerged as a key attacking player for the Tigers, earning second-team All-Ivy League honors last fall as Princeton won its second straight Ivy title and third in the four years. The Tigers kick off their 2019 campaign this week by playing at St. Joseph’s (1-0-1) on August 30 and then hosting Boston College (2-0) on September 1. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Last fall, the Princeton University women’s soccer team displayed resolve and grit after it started 1-1-1 in Ivy League play.

Catching fire down the stretch, Princeton won its last four league games to earn its second straight Ivy crown and third in the four years.

But the excitement of that title run was dampened by how the season ended as Princeton fell 3-0 at Texas Tech in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

“We didn’t give a very good account of ourselves and that left a really bad taste in everybody’s mouths,” said Princeton head coach Sean Driscoll, reflecting on the loss to the Red Raiders which left the Tigers with a final record of 11-4-2.

“There is something to be said for winning a couple of Ivy League championships in a row and still not being very satisfied. That is a good thing. In that sense, it has been positive motivation.” more

August 21, 2019

HOMECOMING: Max Veronneau skating for the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League this past winter. Former Princeton University star Veronneau ’19 tallied two goals and two assists in 12 games for the Senators, joining the team in late March days after the end of the Princeton season. Next month, Veronneau, an Ottawa native, will be heading to his first NHL training camp, looking to earn a spot with his hometown club. (Photo provided courtesy of the Ottawa Senators)

By Bill Alden

Max Veronneau grew up rooting for his hometown Ottawa Senators of the NHL.

“I was always a big Sens fan,” said Veronneau “I cheer for the Sens, I went to a lot of their games.”

After finishing a stellar career for the Princeton University men’s hockey team in March, Veronneau went through a whirlwind process in joining the NHL along with classmates and fellow Tigers stars Josh Teves and Ryan Kuffner and ended up by making a homecoming as he inked a deal with Ottawa. more

DETROIT TIGER: Ryan Kuffner heads up the ice last winter for the Detroit Red Wings. Former Princeton University standout Kuffner ’19 played in 10 games for the Red Wings after wrapping up a Tiger career that saw him set the program record for career goals with 75. Kuffner will be starting training camp with the Red Wings on September 13, looking to earn a spot with the club. (Photo provided courtesy of Detroit Red Wings)

By Bill Alden

Ryan Kuffner accomplished a lot individually during his career with the Princeton University men’s hockey team.

The 6’1, 195-pound forward ended his Princeton career this past March with program records in career goals (75), goals in a season (29 in 2017-18), and games played (132). He is second in career points with 152 and was a two-time All-American.

But looking back on his career, Kuffner credits his teammates with making those individual achievements possible

“It is more of a testament to who I was able to play with over the last four years,” said Kuffner, a native of Ottawa, Ontario.

“It is really incredible looking back on it, I was so lucky that we had such a great group of guys, especially our senior class. I got to play with Max [Veronneau], Alex [Riche], Spencer [Kryczka], and Josh [Teves]. Being the recipient of some of the awards is very special; I also think it can be attributed to the entire class.” more

August 14, 2019

CAN DO: Josh Teves, left, helps goalie Austin Shaw hold the fort in a game last winter for the Princeton University men’s hockey team. Star defenseman and team captain Teves ended up signing with the Vancouver Canucks after wrapping up his Princeton career. Teves made his NHL debut on March 26 in a 5-4 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Next month, Teves heads to training camp where he will look to earn a spot on the Canucks roster. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Josh Teves would have been fine with delaying the start of his professional ice hockey career, but now he’s grateful for the experience gained at the end of last winter.

Three days after the defending ECAC Hockey champion Princeton University men’s ice hockey team lost 6-5 in triple overtime to Brown on March 9 to fall in an ECACH first round series, star defenseman Teves signed with the Vancouver Canucks. On March 26, he made his NHL debut for the Canucks in a 5-4 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

“It was a crazy experience,” said Teves, a 6’0, 180-pound native of Calgary, Alberta, reflecting on his first taste of NHL action. more

August 7, 2019

PANNING OUT: Bella Alarie goes up for a shot last winter in in her junior season for the Princeton University women’s basketball team. This week, Alarie, a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year, will be competing for the U.S. squad at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Justin Feil

Never has Bella Alarie been so happy to have a list alphabetized as the Princeton University senior was the first name announced to make the United States women’s basketball team for the Pan American Games after tryouts this May in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“It’s just so exciting to hear your name called,” said the 6’4 Alarie, a native of Bethesda, Md. and a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year.

“I was kind of shaking a little bit. I was thinking, ‘I really did this.’ It’s hard to hear the other names called, but I made a lot of other friends and to hear some of their names called was just really exciting.”

Alarie is one of three players from the U-19 national team that won silver in the 2017 World Cup to make the squad which will be competing for the U.S. in the XVIII Pan Am games in Lima, Peru this week. more

July 31, 2019

BRONX TALE: Former Princeton University standout David Hale fires a pitch in recent action for the New York Yankees. Hale has emerged as a key middle relief pitcher this summer for the Yankees, going 3-0 with a 2.89 ERA in 19 games through July 29. (Photo provided courtesy of the New York Yankees, all rights reserved).

By Justin Feil

David Hale expected there would be some travel in his baseball career, but he could never had imagined the extent of it.

The Princeton University graduate has been around the world for baseball.

“It’s all more than I would have expected,” said Hale, who went on to graduate from Princeton in 2011 after being drafted in 2009.

“It was always a dream. I think that’s why I chose Princeton. I had the ability to go there and they were looking at me. Going to that school gave me a plan. Baseball was a back-up plan. I know how fast baseball can end so I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself to just be a baseball player. I’m glad I got my degree from Princeton. It’s something I hope to use someday.” more

July 24, 2019

THREE BALL: Kareem Maddox goes up for a shot in the 2010-11 season during his senior campaign for the Princeton University men’s basketball team. Maddox, the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year and a unanimous first-team All-Ivy League selection in 2011, is moving up the ranks in the United Stares 3×3 hoops program. Recently, he teamed up with Robbie Hummel, Damon Huffman, and Canyon Barry to help the U.S. defeat Latvia for its first World Cup championship title at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup in Amsterdam. In late June, Maddox was selected for the USA Men’s 3×3 Pan American Games team that will play in the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, from July 27-August 10. (Photo by Stephen Goldsmith)

By Justin Feil

Five years after former Princeton University men’s basketball star Kareem Maddox retired from playing professional ball overseas, he has a realistic shot at the 2020 Olympics.

After working as a radio host and producer in his hometown Los Angeles and then Colorado, the 2011 Princeton graduate has revived a chance at his childhood dream through 3×3 basketball which will be contested at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo for the first time.

“It’s unbelievable,” said the multi-talented 6’ 8, 220-pound Maddox.  more

July 17, 2019

GROSS PROFIT: Ben Gross fires a pitch in action this spring in a post-graduate season for the Duke University baseball team. Gross, a former Princeton High and Princeton University standout, went 8-4 with a 4.40 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 75 2/3 innings for the Blue Devils, helping the team advance to the NCAA Super Regional. Gross was chosen by the Minnesota Twins in the 10th round of the MLB draft and is currently pitching for Elizabethton (Tenn.), the organization’s rookie-level farm team in the Appalachian League. (Photo provided courtesy of Duke Athletics)

By Bill Alden

Ben Gross bet on himself and it paid off big time.

After producing a second-team All-Ivy League campaign in 2018 in his senior season for the Princeton University baseball team, star pitcher Gross was picked by the Houston Astros in the 34th round of the Major League Draft.

With a season of college eligibility remaining due to being sidelined by a shoulder injury, Gross declined to sign with the Astros and instead decided to play for Duke University where he had been accepted in a graduate business program. more

July 10, 2019

RYAN’S HOPE: Ryan Smith delivers a pitch this spring in his senior season with the Princeton University baseball team. The recently graduated Smith was selected last month by the Los Angeles Angels in the 18th round of the Major League Baseball Draft. He is currently pitching for the Angels short season Class A team, the Orem Owlz in Utah. (Photo provided courtesy of Princeton’s Office of Athletic Communications)

By Justin Feil

Whether it’s throwing a 95 mile-per-hour fastball or being fluent in Spanish to bond with his teammates, Ryan Smith has found a fit in professional baseball.

One day after Smith graduated from Princeton University on June 4, he was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the 18th round of the Major League Baseball Draft.

“It’s been a dream to be drafted and play professional baseball so obviously it’s pretty exciting,” said Smith, who grew up in Garden City, N.Y.

“I kind of had the idea in my head that I would be selected this year, so it was more of where, not if I would. Obviously I was hoping to get drafted as high as possible. The 18th round is a good round to get taken in, but obviously I would have loved to go higher. I can have a chip on my shoulder now.” more