Introducing Recruiting Rundown’s Five-Star Prospects In The Class of 2016

imageWith three seasons in the books for the vaunted Class of 2016, I’m pleased to announce the 28 players named five-star prospects here on Recruiting Rundown. This is a class that’s been especially exciting to watch and track since they joined the high school ranks, and the following players are considered the most successful and talented individuals in the senior class. Check back on Wednesday for a full Top 100 listing and read up on the 2017 standouts named five-stars yesterday.

Dox Aitken, M, Haverford (Pa.)
Club affiliations: Mesa Fresh
Commitment: Virginia
Once again garnering the honor of No. 1 in the nation, Aitken put on quite the display in leading the Fords to an undefeated 26-0 season, scoring 36 goals and six assists. Physically and athletically, he’s a kid who could probably thrive in the ACC today, able to do things on the lacrosse field that no one his age can. Developed into a powerful sweeping shooter who produced despite constant double teams and gameplans to stop him.

Gerard Arceri, F/O, Smithtown East (N.Y.)
Club affiliations: SweetLax
Commitment: Penn State
For the third consecutive spring, Arceri’s quick hands and overall dominance allowed the Bulls to play “make it, take it” on offense. The future Nittany Lion won 80 percent of his draws while adding 19 goals and nine assists, noticeably stepping up his offensive repertoire. Put together a strong summer with the highlight being named to the 30-man training roster for the US U-19 team.

Jared Bernhardt, A, Lake Brantley (Fla.)
Club affiliations: Team Florida
Commitment: Maryland
Intelligent beyond his years, Bernhardt – who is also a talented triple-option quarterback with a Navy offer – had a monster spring with 114 points, shooting at a 60 percent clip. Explosive and crafty, he even ran out of the box with the U-19 team and showed a complete game at Under Armour weekend representing the South.

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Beau Botkiss, LSM/D, Torrey Pines (Calif.)
Club affiliations: West Coast Starz, RC
Commitment: Harvard
Botkiss has been a terrorizing defense force out in San Diego for a few years now, showing a mean streak while roaming sideline to sideline. Throwing some excellent checks, he’s able to hunt down midfield dodgers with his athleticism, position play and footwork. Another big defensive coup for the Crimson, Botkiss switched from Cornell in July 2014.

Owen Colwell, D, Westfield (N.J.)
Club affiliations: Leading Edge
Commitment: Johns Hopkins
The lefty has made major strides since his June 2013 commitment to the Blue Jays, playing a bit of LSM in the spring and becoming one of the top 1-on-1 defenders around. He’s got an active stick in the passing lanes, neglecting to throw many checks on-ball but preferring to play strong position. Hopkins will need defensemen when he arrives, so his ascent will be key.

Jared Conners, LSM, Pittsford (N.Y.)
Club affiliations: SweetLax
Commitment: Virginia
UVA will have gained a nice stable of stud LSMs in a few years, and the seemingly college-ready Conners will be a big part of that. He stands at about 6’5 or so, picking off passes with his long arms and consistently pushing transition. Initially raw in this department, Conners has turned into a shutdown cover man.

Bryan Costabile, M, Mt. St. Joseph (Md.)
Club affiliations: Looney’s
Commitment: Notre Dame
The most dangerous junior in the MIAA, Costabile exploded for 54 goals and 11 assists for Stephen Berger’s Gaels this spring. Heady and athletic, he can run all day and is a constant threat from the outside with his vision and playmaking ability. Midfield headliner of an awesome 2016 class for the Fighting Irish.

Lucas Cotler, M, Syosset (N.Y.) highlights
Club affiliations: Team 91
Commitment: Yale
Few players took leaps from sophomore to junior year like Cotler did, breaking out for an impressive 24 goals and 24 assists for the state semifinalists. While sweeping shots on the run are his bread and butter, the Yale-bound lefty does an impeccable job feeding off the dodge. Arguably the top offensive weapon on Long Island.

Mark Evanchick, D, Darien (Conn.)highlights
Club affiliations: CT Chargers
Commitment: Penn
The defensive stalwart was a big reason why Darien took home another state title in 2015, often erasing the opponent’s top dodger at attack. He uses his size, football background (25 sacks last fall) and surgical stick work to get underneath of his man and frustrate them to the point that they often cease going at him. Might see time at Penn right off the bat, but first comes bringing Jeff Brameier & Co. more hardware.

Bubba Fairman, A, Brighton (Ut.)
Club affiliations: West Coast Starz, Utah Blackhawks
Commitment: Maryland
The recruiting circuit’s most talked about player in July, the Utah native made waves after de-committing from Navy and tearing up Under Armour underclass weekend with 15 goals scored. He’s a threat to beat defensemen out of his dodge whenever the ball’s in his stick and showed the propensity to finish highlight reel goals. Will PG during the 2017 season before becoming a Terp.

Philip Goss, G, Deerfield (Mass.)
Club affiliations: Laxachusetts
Commitment: Brown
A San Francisco native, Goss has continued his strong upward trajectory after another strong summer in which he made the cut to the US U-19 roster. Tall, loud and poised, Goss is tremendously steady and comes up with monstrous saves in the most important moments. Best asset is his clearing ability, which will fare well at Brown with their fast pace of play.

Jarrett Jones, D, Palos Verdes (Calif.)
Club affiliations: West Coast Starz
Commitment: Georgetown
Jones is another kid who has taken a significant step forward since committing, blossoming into a downright nasty cover man with heavy checks, strong holds around the crease and excellent ground ball play. Georgetown will be bringing in a fantastic class with their ’16 group and Jones’ play should have defensive-minded Kevin Warne’s program excited going forward.

Terry Lindsay, M, Georgetown Prep (Md.)
Club affiliations: Greene Turtle South
Commitment: Duke
The prototypical ACC alley dodger, Lindsay’s proven to be close to unstoppable when coming into the offensive zone with a head full of steam. He’s also become more of a complete player, pitching in tough play on defense and in between the lines when the ball is on the ground. Helps make up a Duke class that might be tops in the nation.

Ryan McNulty, LSM, Bishop Shanahan (Pa.)
Club affiliations: Man Up, Mesa Fresh
Commitment: Loyola
A hulking athlete at 6’2 and 200 pounds, McNulty handles his longpole like a toothpick, often taking advantage of unsettled situations and hammering blistering shots past goalies. Throughout the past few springs and summers, he’s been a takeaway artist and a groundball machine (126 as a junior) to trigger fast breaks. Fits in perfectly with Loyola’s system.

Arman Medghalchi, D, McDonogh (Md.)
Club affiliations: Baltimore Crabs
Commitment: Princeton
The lone returning starter on the Eagles’ close defense, Medghalchi quickly emerged as the top 1-on-1 cover man in the league, effectively hindering many of the country’s top attackmen. A strong position defender with great foot speed and holds, his communication skills and shutdown ability were important to a young unit that pushed McDonogh to their first championship appearance in a decade.

Avery Myers, M, Gonzaga (D.C.)
Club affiliations: Blackwolf, FCA
Commitment: Michigan
Myers’ development has been widely apparent, as he pumped in 26 goals and 14 assists as a junior and followed that up with a phenomenal summer. The future Wolverine became one of the most feared outside shooters around, dazzling all weekend to finish fifth in goals at the Under Armour Underclass event. Thrives in run and gun offenses and has proven to be a clutch scorer.

Tehoka Nanticoke, A, IMG Academy (Fla.) highlights
Club affiliations: Six Nations
Status: Uncommitted
The most creative dodger we’ve seen since Lyle Thompson graduated from HS in 2011, Nanticoke might become the next Native American to tear up the college lacrosse ranks. Crafty and unselfish, he’s nearly impossible to take the ball away from, armed with all sorts of fakes and deception to go with a hard-nosed 6’1, 200-pound frame. Whoever lands him will get a kid that can fill up a stat sheet with flair.

Mac O’Keefe, A, Syosset (N.Y.) – highlights
Club affiliations: Team 91
Commitment: Penn State
O’Keefe enjoyed another highly successful season, tallying 63 goals and 24 assists for Long Island’s top squad. A high percentage lefty shooter able to finish in just about every way imaginable, O’Keefe’s box background helps him in tight spaces, though he’s gained some range over the last year or so. Helps make up what might be Jeff Tambroni’s best class yet in Happy Valley.

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Will Perry, M, Greenwich (Conn.) highlights
Club affiliations: Prime Time
Commitment: North Carolina
Switching from Providence to UNC in late July, Perry has been one of the club world’s most dominant players the past two years, dazzling with his smooth ability to separate and can accurate outside shots. As a junior, the Fairfield County native posted 60 goals and 19 assists to earn All-American honors. He’ll fare well in an offense that can always use a lethal midfield dodger to free up the attack.

Jack Pezzulla, G, Boys’ Latin (Md.) highlights
Club affiliations: Breakers
Commitment: North Carolina
Pezzulla’s lights out goalie play has been wildly important to the Lakers ( over the last two years, including a 2OT win over Gilman where he stopped over 20 shots. He possesses insanely quick hands and is particularly gifted on low shots and has also demonstrated athleticism out of the cage. Excelled with UA Baltimore and is still in the mix to represent the United States in July’s U-19 World Games.

Kevin Quigley, M, Ridge (N.J.)
Club affiliations: Leading Edge
Commitment: Duke
Another outstanding midfield shooter, Quigley’s been known for his rapid overhand release, burst off the dodge and vision when blazing down the alleys. On top of that, he shoots close to 100mph and has improved mightily when it comes to his all-around play between the lines. Put up 31 goals with eight assists in the spring and helped lead the New Jersey squad to the finals at Under Armour.

Forry Smith, A, Haverford (Pa.)
Club affiliations: Mesa Fresh, Duke’s LC
Commitment: Johns Hopkins
The first verbal in the entire Class of 2016, Smith jumps out as a player that has gotten astronomically better each season, putting up 69 goals and 27 assists for John Nostrant’s undefeated Fords. Tall, intelligent and smooth, Smith is unbelievably consistent in all aspects of his game and it speaks volumes about his skill level that he accumulated those numbers despite how much talent was on the roster.

Brian-Smyth

Brian Smyth, M, Westminster (Conn.) highlights
Club affiliations: Bulldog
Commitment: Duke
Anointed as Western New England’s midfielder of the Year and All-American, Smyth racked up 33 goals and 17 assists as a junior while pitching in his efforts all over the field. With some Canadian aspects to his game, the Hartford product is dangerous from the wings and loves to utilize face dodges and fakes when going to the cage. Really impressive three-sport athlete that will see the field early in Durham.

Michael Sowers, A, Upper Dublin (Pa.)
Club affiliations: Mesa Fresh, Duke’s LC
Commitment: Princeton
Nobody had a bigger summer than Sowers, who was named the MVP of Under Armour (with 21G, 8A) and to the 30-man training roster for the U-19 squad. Though undersized, he sees the field impeccably from his spot at X, evidenced by his 90 assists during the spring. Sowers has awesome shiftiness, uses his body well when dodging and rides his tail off. Excellent building block for Chris Bates’ offense.

Ryan Tierney, A/M, Massapequa (N.Y.)
Club affiliations: Team 91
Commitment: Hofstra
Set to play for his father at Hofstra, Tierney really came into his own during his junior season as the offensive linchpin for the Chiefs offense with 36 goals and 31 assists. Frequently running out of the midfield, he showed off a powerful shot with time and room and could be counted on whenever ‘Pequa needed a big goal. Smart and opportunistic player who will shine at the next level, becoming the spark that Hofstra needs.

Jamie Trimboli, M, Victor (N.Y.)
Club affiliations: SweetLax
Commitment: Syracuse
Trimboli was vital in carrying Victor to their first ever New York state championship, tallying 59 goals and 23 assists and rarely leaving the field. He plays with an excellent motor and has elite speed and vision that were on display in the season finale with seven points. Took face-offs early in his career and is a shutdown defensive midfielder who the Syracuse coaching staff will love based on how much he’s able to do when he’s on the field.

Ethan Walker, A, Culver (Ind.)
Club affiliations: True
Commitment: Denver
It’s hard to top a 99-goal sophomore campaign, however this left-handed Ontario product did just that by exploding for 109 goals and 23 assists during Culver’s 17-6 season. Walker is close to automatic within eight yards of the goal, using sneaky off-ball play and a nasty release helped by his years of box lacrosse experience up in Peterborough. It’s scary to think of what he’ll be able to do in Matt Brown’s Denver offense.

Reilly Walsh, M, Brunswick (Conn.) highlights
Club affiliations: LI Express
Commitment: Duke
Positioned as the No. 2 player in last year’s rankings, Walsh pieced together a huge season individually, scoring 51 goals and 20 assists to pace the Bruins’ experienced offense. Originally an attackman, he’s a hyper athletic dodger who has showed the ability to get his hands free with relative ease but can also make impactful plays between the lines. Posted seven goals with New England’s squad at the Under Armour tournament.

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