There’s no doubt that touted midfielder Evan Zinn, standing 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds as a freshman, looks the part of a future Big 10 midfielder. While that would be enough to garner college attention in itself, Zinn has plenty of athleticism and tricks up his sleeve to accompany his size, drawing a lot of big looks this fall after a few successful outings with LI Express North.
After visiting established programs Virginia, Penn and Brown, the Staples (Conn.) standout just couldn’t pass up playing for the nine-time NCAA champion Blue Jays in the lacrosse epicenter of the country, committing on the final recruiting weekend of the year.
Floating down the alleys with athleticism and adept stick skills, Zinn was able to get his hands free with relative ease in several events during the November recruiting circuit. He acted as the initiator for the LI Express North squad coached by Chris Schreiber, who speaks highly of his pupil.
“He’s the fastest on the field with a 6’2 frame – due to his size and speed, he can get separation not only on shortsticks but on longpoles as well,” Schreiber says. “Because he is so fast, he can clear the ball better than most. Evan is a two-way middie and due to his athletic ability, he is a tough defender.”
It’s evident that Zinn has an excellent understanding of the game, generating great skip passes to teammates after drawing the slide or dodging North-South before hitting the cage with an accurate shot. He’s a matchup nightmare because of his long strides, shot on the run, two-handedness and vision, qualities he showed best at the renowned Big 4 event in early November. I loved how much heat he put on shots both with his feet set and while moving, also racking up his fair share of assists. Though it’s awfully early, it’s easy to feel good about how he’ll project at Hopkins.
After speaking with Recruiting Rundown on Thursday evening, here’s what the talented freshman had to say about deciding on JHU.
What made you decide on Johns Hopkins?
Hopkins is an exceptional school academically with an insanely impressive history lacrosse-wise and an outstanding leader in Coach [Dave] Pietramala. I was enamored with the tradition, the campus and the facilities, I really just felt comfortable with every aspect with the school. They really set the bar so high for lacrosse and it will be fun to be a part of that program.
When was your visit and what was it like seeing the campus and lacrosse facilities?
I made my visit on November 19th, the Wednesday before Philly Showcase weekend. It really went great, starting with a pretty long sit down with Coach Petro in his office before he toured me around the campus. The Cordish Center is state-of-the-art and absolutely ridiculous while Homewood Field is essentially lacrosse’s Field of Dreams – those were definitely places I could see myself spending time.
All of the players that I met seemed genuinely glad to meet me and answered my questions. In general, Hopkins felt like a home away from home so I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to play and attend school there.
What was the recruiting process and experience like for you this fall with LI Express North?
I started with the program last fall and couldn’t see myself playing with anybody else. The coaches treat us like sons on and off the field and have helped my development a lot, so I’m already looking forward to next summer’s events.
In terms of the recruiting process, it’s been a dream come true even to get offers and go on all of those visits. The feeling that coaches were watching me and my team was awesome, it was obviously nerve-wracking at times but we just had to play our game and not worry about who was on the sidelines taking notes.
What events did you attend this fall and how did your experience increase throughout?
I attended the Legacy event, where I played in the All-Star Game in the individual portion to begin the month. I also attended Big 4, Duke Elite 160 and Philly Team Showcase. After Legacy, I received some interest and that started some phone conversations with coaches expressing their interest. Then after the Big 4 Champions League, the attention sort of ramped up and Hopkins seemed to become interested after Coach Pietramala watched me. From there, I just wanted to keep it up and play with consistency, but it was nice to commit soon after.
Who would you like to thank you for helping you get to where you are?
I’d like to thank my 7th and 8th grade PAL coaches Maceachem and Martens. Mostly, I’d like to thank my Long Island Express coaches, Schreiber, Muller and Reda who have taught and continue to teach me so much about how to play the game the right way, from being a great teammate on and off the field to proper techniques between the lines. They treat us all like sons and give it their all only asking for the same in return which is a more than fair in my book. Aside from all the coaches I’ve ever had from PAL Lacrosse through the Express, I couldn’t have done any of this without my family. My mom, dad and sister have all been so supportive and have driven me all over the map. They don’t even mind me leaving lacrosse gear all over the place, it’s become part of the furniture.