A situation that plenty of non-hotbed recruits run into, players from more established areas tend to write him off due to his birthplace. Now, as of Friday night, Schlendorf is bound for the University of Michigan, one of the most recognizable brands in all of college sports.
Playing for Rhino, Brady’s Bunch and the West Coast Starz, the 5-foot-11, 155-pound keeper has made all of the stops to put himself in the right position college-wise. Though many people may be skeptical of kids who make such major decisions before they complete a semester of high school, Schlendorf doesn’t feel that any young recruit should be criticized for setting themselves up for life.
“Look at the top 40 or so schools and none of them are ‘bad’ academically – all of us are making a bunch of visits and know what we want when it comes to a lot of factors,” Schlendorf says of the process. “You’re walking into a great school academically with an awesome college lacrosse program… I see no problem with that if you’re ready to make an informed decisions.
Brennen Green, who grew up in the same hometown, has coached Schlendorf extensively over the years with Lake Oswego Youth Lacrosse and now with Ryan Powell’s Rhino organization
“Jack is extremely talented between the pipes,” says Green, a former face-off standout at DIII power Lynchburg College. “His ability to command the defense, stay composed and make saves, as well as get the ball up the field quickly makes him a complete player. He is always calling friends to shoot on him and competing on and off the field.”
At Michigan, he’ll join a bevy of West Coast Starz products or kids who grew up on the left coast before heading to Ann Arbor. Of the four goalies committed to the Wolverines, three play for the WCS – Zion DeChesere (Coronado, Nev. ’17), Matt Trowbridge (MICDS, Mo. ’16) and Schlendorf.
Here’s what he had to say about joining the Maize and Blue:
Why did you decide on Michigan?
First off, it has the chance to become a top 10 program by the time that I’m there and I really want to be a part of that growth. I’d also want to study finance or business and Michigan is really well known for those two majors. In general, the lacrosse facilities they’re putting in are pretty unreal and the entire campus is sick.
As for the coaching staff, I definitely thought that I was more wanted at Michigan than the other schools that I visited. As soon as I talked to John Paul and got to know him, I felt comfortable with him and the whole coaching staff.
Can you talk about the timeline – when the coaches watched you, how contact started and what the visit was like?
They saw me play in the summer and then I attended the fall prospect camp, spending Friday through Sunday on campus playing and touring the facilities. At one point, I came to the coaches’ offices and that’s when I got my offer and got to know everybody on the staff After that, they saw me play at the C2C Spotlight, Terrapin Classic, High Rollers and the Philly Freshman Showcase.
Did you ever think you’d be committed this early? What’s your mindset now that your verbal is set and you have four more years to play?
I definitely didn’t think that I would be a early of a commit, but I did feel a little pressure in the process to find the right school even though I knew I’d find the right one. I though that with all of those data points that I would find the right spot – I got a wide range of visits, also seeing Loyola, Georgetown, Navy, Penn and Virginia.
The work hasn’t stopped, if anything I’ve started working even harder so I want to continue doing that and keep playing well. I just want to be the best player I can be and set myself up for success on and off the field.
What has your club experience been like?
I’ve been playing with Rhino since I was in the fourth grade. I’ve usually played up a class and that’s really helped me a whole lot and will prepare me more for the high school season.
It helps me a lot to go back and play with the West Coast Starz and I’m looking forward to doing that this summer. They’ve helped me a ton with the process because of all of the exposure and connections that come with playing with that team.
Who would you like to thank for helping you get to where you are?
First, I would like to thank my parents for providing me endless opportunities to succeed on the field. Being from the West, it’s hard to get to tournaments and showcases, but they always get me there. I would also like to thank all my coaches who have helped me since I have started to play lacrosse, but specifically: Jono Zissi, Dennis Sullivan, Scott DeMonte, Jared Corcoran, Brennen Green, and Ryan Powell.