Princeton, NJ (Sports Network) - Members of the Princeton University football program are hopeful that standout running back Chuck Dibilio will play again this season.
But the Tigers continue to approach coach Bob Surace's third season as if the 2011 Ivy League Rookie of the Year will not play following his mild stroke in January.
"Absolutely, we have to go through our preparation that way," Surace told GoPrincetonTigers.TV on the Princeton athletic website.
"Obviously, any coach in the world, in the Ivy League, would want to have Chuck Dibilio as part of their team. In some shape or way, he'll be a part of us, whether he's joining me on the coaching staff, whether he is joining our team on the field. We'd obviously rather give him the ball than have him stand next to me."
Dibilio, a 19-year-old freshman from Nazareth, Pa., suffered the stroke while studying on campus on Jan. 19 and the next morning had a clot removed in the main artery of his brain.
He withdrew from school to concentrate on his recovery and is working toward a return this summer.
Dibilio set an Ivy League record for a freshman by rushing for 1,068 yards last season. He also scored eight touchdowns and was named to the Ivy League first team.
He finished fifth in the voting for the 2011 Jerry Rice Award, which honors the FCS freshman of the year.
"Whether he is able to play again, he's on track to come back and be a student, graduate from Princeton," Surace said. "He's showing signs that he's going to live a normal life, which is first and foremost."
06/04 16:05:18 ET