MEDFORD - Tufts Football is currently 6-2, placing them in third place in the NESCAC. A major contributor to the Jumbos' success thus far has been senior running back Dom Borelli, who is having the most productive year of his career. Dom is preparing for his final collegiate game this Saturday as Middlebury College is set to host Tufts at 12:30 pm.
Borelli is a member of the 2018-19 senior class which has earned 24 wins through their four years in uniform. With a win at Middlebury this Saturday in the final game of the season, the class will tie the Tufts' record for most wins for a class over four years. The record is held by the class of 1979-82 with 25.
Individually, Borelli has made strides in each season since his freshman year, resulting in statistical highs in almost every category for him as a senior. After his junior season was cut short due to an injury, he has rushed a career high 76 times this season, resulting in 284 yards. Borelli has scored a touchdown in five of eight games this year, and as a running back, he ranks second on the team in receptions. He also played a pivotal role in Tufts' win over Williams as he put up 84 all-purpose yards along with a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown, playing proving he can do it all.
GoTuftsJumbos.com recently caught up with the senior running back to learn a bit more about him …
Q: Who is your favorite athlete and why?
A: My all-time favorite athlete is Allen Iverson for a couple of reasons. One, he played for the Philadelphia 76ers and, being from Philadelphia, he was the first superstar I saw play live. Two, I can relate to him. Allen was doubted so many times throughout his career because of his height and that is something that I dealt with as an athlete growing up. People were always telling me, just like they told him, "You're too small. You can't play college ball. You can't do this, can't do that." I looked at his story as motivation and belief that anything is possible as long as you fully invest yourself in it. In addition to that, there was no other professional athlete I enjoyed watching more than AI. He was the smallest on the court yet played with the biggest heart, passion, and commitment to his teammates. It was something I wanted to replicate and inspire in my teammates on the football field.
Q: As a fourth year team member, what does the team have this year that they've been lacking?
A: As a senior on the team, I've been fortunate enough to be on four pretty different teams throughout my time at Tufts. Each of the four teams had a different vibe, or a different identity, and I think it's something we've embraced throughout our time here. In saying that, I don't want to say that this team has things that our other teams did not. I will say, however, that our focus on the every-day process and the culture has increased as each year passes. Now, more than ever, we are committed to each other, this team, and the messages that the coaches are trying to get us to believe in. I can confidently say that is not because of this team, but a testament to the teams before this one and the work that they did in turning this program around.
Q: What went into your decision to come to Tufts?
A: My recruiting process was kind of all over the place. Initially, like many other high school athletes, my goal and dream was to play Division I football. However, after learning more about what I wanted to do in life and where playing football falls in the grand scheme of things, I turned my focus towards attending the best academic school possible, with a great support system and football program. After turning away from schools I was interested in that were close to home, such as Villanova and Lehigh, I was torn between Johns Hopkins and Tufts. After my visit, however, it was a no-brainer. The family atmosphere at Tufts was unmatched. The guys were clearly committed to each other and to the betterment of the team and it was something I wanted to be a part of. I wanted to be able to look back and say that I was a part of a great turn-around at Tufts. Not because of me, but because of how committed and bought-in the entire team was.
Q: You're averaging nearly four yards per carry this year. What can you attribute this improvement too?
A: Improvement in my YPC is something that I knew I had to prioritize this offseason. Luckily, with the coaching staff and offensive lineman that we have, they made that a lot easier for me. Coach Civetti, along with the rest of the offensive staff, has done a really good job at keeping the defense guessing this year and really mixing up the way in which we run the football. I also just cannot underestimate how lucky I am to play behind the offensive line that we have. I'd give everything for those guys and I hope they see that by the way I run behind them. I owe those guys up front, not just the starters, but the entire unit, a lot.
Q: When you're not playing football, what are some of your favorite things to do?
A: Some of my favorite things to do outside of football include playing basketball, hanging with friends, skiing, and surfing. Most of my friends and family, however, will tell you that my favorite thing to do when I'm not playing football is to watch football. After I hang up the cleats, I still plan on being around football all the time as my goal in life is to be a general manager in the National Football League. When I am not watching football, chances are I am doing some sort of research about the NFL to figure out the latest news or insider information.
Q: With most of this season over, what will the team be working on to close out the year?
A: With only a game left, I think the main focus of our team right now is just finishing things the right way, the way in which Tufts Football finishes things — for each other, with each other. I'm really proud to be a part of this family and to have watched the growth of not only so many individuals, but ultimately the team. As we go into the last week of the season, we're just thankful to have one week left with each other and will do everything in our power to ensure that we go out the right way. Personally, I'm just trying to take in and appreciate every last moment as the clock ticks down on our season.