The Rundown: Top 25 Rankings, UA Underclass, How Early Is Too Early To Evaluate?

Recruiting Rundown JPGThere aren’t too many more weekends where this post will talk about things other than on-field action. The high school season is approaching and some of the best teams in the Mid-Atlantic are already underway with tryouts as of this week. We’re almost there, guys… At least high school lacrosse still has the designation of spring sport unlike the college game in February.

Make sure to check out new feature ‘D1 Rookie Watch‘ (highlighting freshmen standouts at Duke, Villanova, Hopkins, Denver and Notre Dame this week) as well as a look at High Point’s ability to scoop up Top 75 talent.

This week, I’ll be discussing a few topics of interest, including the idea of middle school evaluations in football, Top 25 rankings and the Under Armour underclass games.

This morning, I launched the 2017 Video Vault with highlight reels now embedded. Submit your video for the other classes (located on the tabs) if it hasn’t already been submitted. Fall and/or winter videos only, for the mean time.

A new weekly feature, The Rundown will cover a variety of random topics throughout the spring . It will contain links, intriguing story lines, video and tidbits from conversations with notable names in the lacrosse world. Got an intriguing piece of news or a story pitch? Contact me at tyxanders@gmail.com.

National High School Top 25 Rankings release approaches

I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about when my national rankings will be coming out. I really don’t have a specific date yet – I have to finalize some things logistically and mess with the rankings themselves – but they’ll be rolled out shortly. Regional rankings, a top 10 for the West, South, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, will follow a week later.

It’s a weird year in that there isn’t any one team that deserves preseason No. 1 recognition in the eyes of just about everybody. In the past, it’s often teams like Haverford (Pa.) or Boys’ Latin (Md.) based largely on the absurd amount of Division I talent on the roster. Now, so many teams have glaring question marks and graduated seniors that they might struggle to replace.

Here’s a hint: a MIAA program will not begin No. 1. It might be a ‘down’ year in that league with a lot of teams fighting for a title. Can’t wait to see some of the local teams practice and scrimmage in the coming 10 or so days to see where everybody stacks up early. At that point, hopefully they’ll be done practicing in basketball gyms?

UA Underclass registration opens up, dates announced

Corrigan Sports, the people behind the event, recently announced that their 10th annual Under Armour All-America weekend will take place from Friday, July 3rd until Sunday, July 5th and held at Towson University once again. Register to try out for the Under Armour Underclass Games at this link, which I’d strongly recommend for anybody even if you feel the odds are against you to make the team. The tryouts are absolutely loaded with college coaches looking for 2018 through 2016’s.

There are a few significant differences to that weekend from past years. Instead of taking place on Saturday evening as I believe it has since its inaugural year, the boys and girls senior games will occur on Friday evening in Johnny Unitas Stadium. In the past, attendance has been affected by the weekend falling on the 4th of July, so there aren’t any conflicts here. A lot of people love to go away for the weekend and be by the body of water of their choice, so if you’re a lacrosse junkie and want to knock both priorities off your list then you’ll have the opportunity to do so once Friday’s festivities end at TU. It seems like a win in my book.

For the summer circuit schedule, this is another win to have UA weekend pushed forward a week. Another popular event, the National High School Lacrosse Showcase, was said to have their level of play hurt last year due to the fact that many of the teams’ best players were busy competing at Under Armour underclass weekend. That won’t be an issue this year now that NHSLS will take place the following weekend on July 10-12, which seems to be a huge weekend that will also feature Colorado’s Adrenaline Shootout and Showcase, Philly’s Liberty Bell Challenge and Long Island’s LXTC Committed Games, a new event put on by the Denver staff.

Tryout locations have been announced for five of the 10 teams:
Long Island – June 8/9 at Mitchell Athletic Complex (Uniondale, NY)
New England – June 23 at Avon Old Farms School (Avon, CT)
Philadelphia – June 10/11 at West Chester University (West Chester, PA)
South – May 30/31 at University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)
Upstate – June 7/8 at Hobart College (Geneva, NY)
West – June 7 at Sonoma State University (Rohnert Park, CA)

How early is too early to evaluate?

Recently, Rivals.com took some heat for posting the profiles of two sixth-grade football prospects, the earliest the publication has ever done so . There was an excellent SBNation.com piece detailing it, a strong read with some crossover to lacrosse in some peoples’ eyes. Football recruiting is much later than lacrosse, even though colleges and media members evaluate them super early. However, this was a huge deal because it called into question what’s considered ridiculous and what just makes sense based on the timeline. Personally, I think it’s absolutely insane to evaluate middle schoolers (besides rising 9th graders) in any sport. It’s dumb for bloggers and evaluators who write and it’s bold for college football programs to waste their time taking notes and eye-balling kids who have yet to fill up or receive proper instruction. They’re nowhere close to being mature in any facet.

There were some great tweets from tons of various people, though this is one of my favorites:

I’ve dealt with some crap from buddies in the past due to my job being what is: watching little boys play lacrosse, as they say. That’s a fair assessment for the most part, even if that does make it sounds like I’m on the U-9 fields of Baltimore on spring weekends, which I’m not. I follow the trends of recruiting – if there are several college coaches watching a particular age, I’m there. I’d rather watch juniors and seniors over 2018’s without a doubt, but that’s just the way things are going lately.

What would you call too early for Division I coaches to evaluate? What about media members like myself? Let me know in an e-mail or comment.

One thought on “The Rundown: Top 25 Rankings, UA Underclass, How Early Is Too Early To Evaluate?

  1. I agree with the minimum age of recruiting should be rising freshman, although some of these kids never played a high school game in there life. Unless some have played with far older kids than themselves in club lacrosse. Which would make sense because recruiting showcases are based around organized club lacrosse.

    Like

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