On a frigid October morning in 2021, at around 5 AM, I popped on film for Princeton vs. Brown. My intent was to watch Brown QB EJ Perry and evaluate him, taking notes. But, as I was skipping through the Princeton offensive drives, a blur on the screen at WR caught my eye. I went back and saw Andrei Iosivas torching the Brown defense with unreal speed. It IS the Ivy League, so I didn’t quite trust that his athleticism was NFL caliber, but the name was noted and I moved on.
During the summer, I dug into my notes to watch names from our internal Watch List Brian and I compile. Iosivas was one of my first to watch, wanting to get a true sense of his NFL abilities. Viewing more games from 2021, he was definitely a superb athlete. Running like an Olympic track star, Iosivas was concerned about moving as fast as possible to his stop and that was it. He is a league champion in the heptathlon, so that makes sense. Routes were nearly non-existent, footwork was wild, but no Ivy League defender could hang with him. It made him intriguing with upside.
Fast forward to the 2022 season and I have watched a handful of games from Iosivas. He has turned into a completely different player. The athletic skill is still there, but now he learned how to use his hands off the line to gain separation. Footwork on cleaner breaks in routes and the ability to sell a Stop and Go. The skillset of a complete WR is emerging and he is one dangerous player.
Princeton is known more for developing future politicians and CEOs than NFL players. Producing 6’3, 200 pound long WRs who can be Day 2 picks certainly is not the norm. But somehow this world class track star was coached into developing hands, routes, and learning the ins and outs of football to be on par with some of the best in the world. The development almost is clear game to game, let alone year to year. It is credit to Princeton WR coach Brian Flinn, head coach Bob Surace, and the entire staff.
Last season, I wrote that Christian Watson was the next Cooper Kupp in his future NFL rise. Iosivas is more raw than Watson was, but those flashes of becoming a starting NFL WR are out there. Heck, Watson posted a 9.96 RAS Score at the NFL Combine this past year, and Iosivas has a shot to be right there with him. It will be up to teams for how much they trust their coaching staff to develop a player of such absurd talents.
He still makes mental errors or has long stretches of not knowing how to get leverage on his defenders. There are times zone coverage seems to give Iosivas fits. But, the building blocks are there for not only a high NFL Draft pick, but a future NFL star.