It was a massive month for Recruiting Rundown, full of nonstop travel (I should really just rent a place in Philly next November), conversations with club and college coaches and of course, countless hours on the fields. Due to the assistance of a few freelancers that have been welcomed into the fray, we covered a whopping 13 events, posting detailed recaps several days before of any other source in lacrosse media.
For any notes, corrections, commitments, event inquiries, etc – feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please note that ‘Top Commit’ and ‘Top Free Agent’ listings were my personal opinion on who impressed the most that day, named only for events that I attended myself. Several of those players listed were uncommitted at the time but have called in their verbals to coaches in recent days since.
A huge thanks to the 48,000 unique visitors who checked out out the site’s coverage in the month of November! There will be tons of fresh content up this month recapping the players who helped their stock, top uncommitted prospects, top highlight reels from the fall and many more features. Keep tabs on this site and also follow us on Twitter at @RecruitRundown and @tyxanders.
Here’s a look at the events we covered:
Location: Radnor (Pa.) High School
Writeups: Four 2018’s, ten 2017’s, one 2016
Top Commit: Matt Licciardi ’17, A, Turtles / Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) – Cornell
Top Free Agent: Tommy Sopko ’17, A, NXT / Conestoga (Pa.)
Rundown: After hearing great reviews from college coaches about last year’s event, I enjoyed my first visit to Quaker and used it as an opportunity to mostly watch sophomores to see how they’ve improved since the summer. In that age group, teams like Tenacious Turtles, Crabs, Duke’s, VLC, Leading Edge, Tri-State and NXT were points of emphasis. One aspect that I was a big fan of was that there was a field devoted just to a smaller 2018 division right smack dab in the middle of the field map.
LEGACY SUPER 8 INVITATIONAL
Rundown: Foley, a Boston-based freelancer who has contributed to Inside Lacrosse for a handful of years, attended Sunday’s team portion and got his first glimpse at a number of talented prospects beginning the fall circuit. Put on by the folks of Laxachusetts, it was an event that was very heavy on Northeast squads like Team 91, Eclipse, NH Tomahawks and SweetLax, among others.
BIG 4 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Location: Penn Charter (Pa.) School
Writeups: Ten 2018’s in first tier, eleven 2018’s in second update
Top Commit: Brady Keneally ’18, D, LI Express / St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) – JHU
Top Free Agent: Grayson Sallade ’18, M, Big 4 / Manheim Township (Pa.)
Rundown: With freshmen becoming the primary focus of the established early recruiters in Division I, this was a very well attended event by the who’s who of club programs and college coaches. Always been a big fan of simple events with two fields, so this was a spectacular ‘bang for your buck’, championship-format tournament. Event coordinator Billy McKinney’s commit-laden Big 4 HHH squad won the championship over a great group from Leading Edge (N.J.) that was excellent at the midfield. I also saw a lot of great talent from MadLax, SweetLax and both LI Express squads, in addition to 3d Pacific and HEADStrong. Looking forward to being back next year for sure.
ADRENALINE FALL INVITATIONAL
Location: Plymouth Whitemarsh (Pa.) High School
Writeups: Six 2018’s, five 2017’s, two 2016’s
Top Commit: Matthew Magnan ’18, M, Prime Time / Fox Lane (N.Y.) – ‘Cuse
Top Free Agent: Augie Fratt ’17, M, West Coast Starz / Bellevue (Wash.)
Rundown: ADRLN’s Platinum Cup was likely the top team event that I attended all summer, so I was fired up to be able to get to a day of the first year event and see the wide swath of teams in attendance. It’s a great opportunity to see the West Coast Starz teams showcased on the east coast, as well as SweetLax’s lethal committed group with talent from all over the map. LB3, Prime Time, Tenacious Turtles, Mesa Fresh and Building Blocks were a few more teams I enjoyed evaluating. Taking place on a great campus, this was an awesome event from top to bottom and a tournament that I’ll probably have a second writer at next year due to the shear volume of great club teams in the lineup.
FLG IN 3D FALL SHOOTOUT
Rundown: Though in an unusual location in comparison to other events, established programs came from as far as Colorado, Texas and Ontario in addition to showcase themselves in front of recruiters. It was a good place for Mollihan to check out a mix of uncommitted and committed players, especially the 3d squads who aren’t always at team events I usually attend. A lot of great prospects, including some of the top athletes in the 2017 class, played at the Mount this weekend and were written up.
Location: Episcopal Academy (Pa.)
Writeups: Fourteen 2017’s (plus sixteen 2016’s mentioned)
Top Commit: Colby Smith, M, Hempfield (Pa.) / NXT – Ohio State
Top Free Agent: Gavin Garrity-Rokous, M/FO, Middlesex (Mass.) / Laxachusetts
Rundown: Carrying an excellent reputation so much that over 5,000 sophomores and juniors apply for spots, the Philly Showcase has more college coaches (from all levels) attend than any other event in the country. The level of play was still extremely high, however the amount of 2017 commits nationally may have affected it, as more kids were off the board at this point than ever before so there was no need to attend. Despite all of that, if a school needed talented sleepers, this was the best event to go to, as many available studs put on a show.
FAMOUS AUTUMN CLASSIC
Location: Cedar Lane Park in Bel Air (Md.)
Writeups: Six 2018’s, seven 2017’s, three 2016’s
Top Commit: Danny Kielbasa ’17, A, VLC Blue Crabs / Paul VI (Va.)
Top Free Agent: Owen Seebold ’17, A, C2C / Highland Park (Tex.)
Rundown: Put on by the Baltimore Crabs and Aloha Tournaments, this was an enjoyable and competitive event with a solid amount of notable schools in Division I camped out on the sidelines, braving downright brutal conditions. I focused on squads like Edge, Baltimore Crabs, Virginia Lacrosse Club, C2C, Breakers and Leading Edge, and it was a great chance to watch juniors and seniors play that I hadn’t scouted since the summer. Excluding the freshman final where the Crabs rolled, the championship games were very entertaining, resulting in big wins for the VLC Blue Crabs.
MIDWEST TOP 80 SHOWCASE
Recap Link (via staff report)
Location: Grand Park in Westfield (Ind.)
Writeups: Five 2017’s, seven 2018’s
Rundown: It’s not easy to execute a first year event, especially considering the brisk temperatures in greater Indianapolis. However, the Midwest’s very best came out to ball out in front of college coaches, who were there to watch players from top prep program in the region, Jon Posner’s Culver Military Academy, in addition to renowned clubs True and Titanium. Several of the top players at the event would go on to have further success in individual events in the final weekend of the fall. In the event’s second year, expect it to take a big step forward.
EAST COAST FALL SHOWCASE
Rundown: Another event in its first year, this one was organized by Madlax founder Cabell Maddux and Landon assistant coach J.R. Bordley. College coaches headed each team during the individual portion, which showcased uncommitted kids in each class and will likely result in commitments from several in the coming weeks. The younger brother of Hopkins midfielder Holden Cattoni, sophomore attackman Taite stole the show in the All-Star Game with three points to earn MVP honors.
EAST COAST TEAM SHOWCASE
Rundown: In what was said to be an exciting day of lacrosse that featured tight contests with high school squads like Calvert Hall, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes and Paul VI, the Team Showcase ended in a championship win for D.C. power Gonzaga over host Landon. Many of the area’s top prospects – both young and old – were written up by Aburn, also including a sizable notes section on what teams and games impressed. High school showcases always do well with college coaches, who like seeing how players perform with the team chemistry that they’ve built, and I’d expect the event to be even better top to bottom next year.
PHILLY FRESHMAN SHOWCASE
Location: United Sports in Downington (Pa.)
Writeups: Seventeen 2018’s
Top Commit: Ross Pridemore ’18 A, Taft (Conn.) / SweetLax – Virginia
Top Free Agent: Oliver Hollo ’18, LSM, Deerfield (Mass.) / Patriot
Rundown: I was more fired up for this event than anything else this fall and I must say it exceeded expectations and then some. The majority of the country’s top 2018’s were on the grounds and put on an absolute show in front of a plethora of college coaches, who were clamoring over the best talent remaining on the board. It’s easy to tell a high caliber event when a considerable amount of commits show up, which also occurs at events like Blue Chip and Maverik Showtime, the only weekends that rival Philly Freshman Showcase as the best assemblage of 2018’s all year. Already looking forward to next year’s event.
PHILLY FRESHMAN TEAM INVITATIONAL
Rundown: Following up the individual segment of the event, several elite club programs hit the fields on Sunday and were evaluated by contributor Chris Garland (who knocked the assignment out of the park). Squads like Team 91, NH Tomahawks, FCA, Madlax and Leading Edge, among others, demonstrated their prowess with their programs and ended the fall recruiting circuit on the right note. The 2018 class is remarkably deep, so keep an eye on the players mentioned throughout the next few years as they make commitments, some as early as this week. Another ‘must attend’ event for early recruiters in Division I.
Location: Boys’ Latin (Md.)
Writeups: Five 2018’s, fifteen 2017’s
Top Commit: Thomas Berger ’17, M, Leading Edge / Chatham (N.J.) – Loyola
Top Free Agent: Andrew Bonafede ’18, G, LI Express / Chaminade (N.Y.)
Rundown: As I mentioned earlier in this piece, I’m all about small events with less than a dozen teams and two adjacent fields. Organized by Ryan McClernan, this day of lacrosse was outstanding thanks to the overall talent level, excellent weather and the fact that there were both freshmen and sophomore squads. Most of the games were very evenly matched and entertaining, and it was fun watching teams like Eclipse and 3d for the first time all fall. A bevy of top schools came by on the 23rd to evaluate and due to the success, I’d imagine they’ll be back next year.