There may not have been a defender in the 2017 class as excitable as Western Massachusetts native Adrian Enchill was this summer. Demonstrating outstanding athleticism and the ability to get the ball off the ground and upfield in a hurry, the Prime Time Penguins sophomore would have been a pivotal addition no matter the program he decided to go with.
After months of deliberation, the Westminster (Conn.) standout felt that Notre Dame would be the perfect fit, committing to the Fighting Irish on Thursday night after also strongly considering Michigan.
At Notre Dame, he’ll join a transformational class when it comes to the midfield – Kevin Corrigan has five 2017 middies ranked in Recruiting Rundown’s Top 75, including three in the top 20. Though it’s still a few years down the road, ND is pretty set when it comes to transition play, showing last year that they’re pushing the tempo more so than they have in the past. Enchill will help that area of the game in a major way, including wing play and 1-on-1 defense to be a catalyst for the Irish.
The 5-foot-9, 160-pound three-sport athlete (he plays QB and RB on the varsity football team, as well as JV basketball) has plans to attend Maverik Showtime once again, an event that helped Enchill become a household name and eventually become ranked highly.
Roughly 24 hours after his decision (and a day into Westy’s Christmas break), here’s what Enchill had to say about his decision to be a student-athlete at Notre Dame.
You waited longer than other top sophomores in the country. Overall, what was the recruiting process like for you and what made you take your time?
I had a really different recruiting process, just because I was pretty focused on holding down the academics, getting used to a rigorous school, being class president this year and then ultimately figuring out where I wanted to take lacrosse at the next level. I was talking to some schools during freshman year then felt like I broke through this summer and got on more schools’ radars at events like Prep School Showcase, Adrenaline Black Card and Maverik Showtime. Where I’m from, lacrosse isn’t big at all – so, making the All-Star Game there was huge for me and that brought on interest with a lot of schools like Georgetown, Michigan, Notre Dame, Duke, Hopkins and Harvard.
What was it about Notre Dame?
There were a lot of aspects about Notre Dame that made it the right fit, and I felt that on the visit. First off, I want to go into the medical field and that was a big difference maker over Michigan. If I get into ND then I’m already in the pre-med program so that took a lot off of my shoulders. In terms of lacrosse, once I initially got interest from Notre Dame it became really appealing to me just because of their tradition and great coaching.
How was your trip to South Bend? What were your favorite parts about the school?
I visited in November – I got there and it’s definitely as cold as everybody says it is but it also reminded me a lot of home, which is nice. I loved everything about the campus and it was really cool being at Arlotta Stadium rather than just seeing it on TV, those facilities certainly stood out to me. Walking around with Coach [Gerry] Byrne, he strolled right past the Heisman trophies when those caught my eye, that sort of tells you just how much tradition is at that school.
Talking to the coaches and having lunch with them, I saw just how badly they wanted to win and I wanted to be a school like that. Even though schoolwork is my main priority, I definitely want to be at a program that takes that mindset so seriously. On my overnight, I spent a lot of time with the freshman class – they’ll be seniors when I get there – and that helped me realize that those were the kind of people I wanted to be around.
Notre Dame’s always been known for their defense. What do you feel that you can bring to the table for them?
When I play, I try to be agile and high energy. I always want to have the mentality like I have a chip on my shoulder because I’ve never really had anything given to me so I’ve always worked hard. I hope that when coaches see me play, they see how driven I am because I really want to be a top tier LSM at the Division I level.
Talking to Coach Byrne, he wants me to have all of his defensemen to have a high IQ, never lose focus and to always take good angles. I’m working on those aspects, especially off-ball because that’s more important than on-ball play in the grand scheme of things.
Who would you like to thank for helping you get to where you are?
I’d like to thank my Mom and Dad – I wouldn’t be here without them and I’m so thankful for them and how they’ve driven me everywhere to give me great opportunities. I also want to say thanks to CYC Lacrosse with Mr. Knightley and Coach Leary, as well as coaches Morrissey, Sanborn and Adams at Fessenden. In addition, Coach Newman, Duddy and Eckerson at Westminster and Jason Wellmeyer at Prime Time. I’d like to specially thank Jono Zissi at Adrenaline and Maverik Lacrosse for opportunities at Black Card and Showtime. Finally, I want to thank God.