College lacrosse certainly sees plenty of parity across the board. When it comes to who attracts the top recruiting classes year in and year out, there’s not as much: the ACC’s, Big 10’s and Ivies bring in 15 of the top 20 classes.
Top classes aren’t necessarily based on who happens to get the most Top 100 recruits (view that list here), but defined by which program’s classes are likely to have the biggest impact across the next four years. Take a look at the full list of D1’s classes, followed by Top 30’s at attack, midfield and defense (plus a 20-man watchlist for each one), as well as Top 15’s at face-off and goalie.
1. Johns Hopkins
Bringing in a total of nine recruits ranked in Tuesday’s Top 100, the Blue Jays earn the No. 1 freshman class for the second year in a row. Though they’re not expected to dominate like Shack Stanwick and Joel Tinney did as newcomers, this group is loaded offensively, headlined by Haverford middie Drew Supinski and a plethora of top flight attackmen. Ranked 10th overall, goalie Hunter Sells will challenge for playing time immediately, as will d-middie Ryan Coulter and defenseman Patrick Foley.
2. North Carolina
The Tar Heels are no strangers to heralded recruiting classes, however they’re still without a Final Four appearance since 1993. Top 15 recruits Jack Rowlett and Timmy Kelly will contend for significant minutes right off the bat. Alex McGovern, Charles Kelly, Andy Matthews and Aidan O’Brien are all touted recruits from established programs, though they’ll likely only provide depth early on considering how much talent Carolina has waiting in the wings.
This class took a hit when star attackman Joe Manown bumped down to the 2016 class, but there’s still incredible balance. Arizona native Cade Van Raaphorst could turn into an elite college cover man once he refines his game a bit, while Jack Fowler and Connor Alexander are also intriguing defensive prospects. Brad Smith is versatile in that he’s shown the ability to thrive at both attack and midfield, while Sean Lowrie can do the same and is the sleeper of the group. The Blue Devils also add a pair of talented keepers.
It’s also a win whenever you can bring in the nation’s No. 1 recruit, though Starsia & Co. will need Conrad to step in and be a factor right away. Looking to do the same, Ryan Lamb and Phil Poquie both have outstanding credentials and upside. Theo Dol and Zach Ambrosino are battle-tested from playing in one of the nation’s top leagues and will instantly provide depth. The Wahoos could use some increased firepower down at attack, however they likely won’t get it until the next few classes.
The Bulldogs have done a phenomenal job getting the most out of their past classes – on paper, this is likely their best yet under Andy Shay. This group is built around their offensive talent, namely a hulking athlete in Brendan Mackie, who will join his older brother, Conor, in the Bulldogs’ midfield. Nick Yevoli, Jack Tigh and John Daniggelis are excellent middies from Long Island, while attackman Joey Sessa will remind fans of Joey Sankey. Hoyt Crance will push for time in cage, as will Robert Mooney on D.
Mike Murphy has assembled a special group of high level talent, which includes four recruits named to the U.S. U-19 training roster. Top-ranked close defenseman Noah Lejman is expected to fill one of the vacancies on the Quakers’ starting backline. Tyler Dunn, Simon Mathias and Alex Roesner show promise down at attack and are all poised to have big careers. Joe Licciardi and Jared Warner are great middie prospects off the island.
The Big Red have had plenty of highly regarded players over the years, however this is their best class top-to-bottom in quite some time. Matt Kerwick graduates a rather formidable group, so it will be crucial that this group responds well to the next level early. Colton Rupp and Jake McCulloch have the potential to contribute as starters at attack and midfield, respectively, while Ryan Bray and Clarke Petterson are versatile enough to do many things well offensively. Thomas Reilly should help defensively.
Though the Orange bring in seven Top 100 prospects, it’s hard to say what kind of impact they’ll make due to shear roster size. Nick Mellen, Andrew Helmer and Tyson Bomberry are attractive defensive recruits, all differing in what they bring to the table. Texas product Sam Romano looks the part of an ACC midfielder, while Bradley Voigt and Nathan Solomon are accomplished scorers at attack. As always, look for ‘Cuse to make waves with a mid-year transfer or two.
Fresh off their first national title, Bill Tierney welcomes a group with a lot of upside, including a pair of Under Armour All-Americans. A native of California’s Orange County, Nate Marano is a big and dynamic scorer who will fit incredibly well into the offense. Dylan Johnson, Jon Ober, Brett Greenlee and Andrew Parker all have what it takes to compete for minutes on the defensive end. Look for local boy Colton Jackson to impress at midfield.
Between sleepers and known commodities, the Greyhounds bring in a very impressive class, starting with recruits from right in their backyard. Patrick Spencer is a talented athlete who many feel will be a four-year starter and potential All-American at attack. Jacob Stover will compete with sophomore Grant Limone in between the pipes, while Bryce Carrasco is part of an excellent defensive group heading to the Evergreen.
No. 2 overall Dan Bucaro (A)
No. 8 overall Chris Donovan (A)
No. 99 overall Tucker Gillman (G)
No. 30 attackman Robert Clark
No. 8 face-off man Mikey Giannopulos
No. 25 defenseman Finn Dunne
Watchlist’s Christian Teuber (D)
12. Notre Dame
No. 5 overall Ryder Garnsey (A)
No. 36 overall Hugh Crance (D)
No. 69 overall Drew Schantz (M)
No. 80 overall Timmy Phillips (M)
Watchlist’s Jack Beare (A)
Watchlist’s Nick Stinn (M)
Watchlist’s Michael Langdon (D)
Watchlist’s Charlie Trense (D)
13. Penn State
No. 19 overall Tommy Wright (LSM)
No. 25 overall Grant Ament (A)
No. 76 overall Drew Petkevich (M)
Watchlist’s Nick Spillane (A)
Watchlist’s Robby Black (M)
Watchlist’s Kevin Hill (M)
Watchlist’s Drew Ryan (M)
No. 3 overall Timmy Monahan (A)
No. 22 overall Austin Henningsen (F/O)
No. 52 overall Louis Dubick (A)
No. 92 overall Thomas O’Connell (M)
Watchlist’s Wes Janeck (M)
Watchlist’s Kai Storrs (D)
No. 17 overall James Sullivan (F/O)
No. 26 overall Jack Corbett (G)
No. 66 overall Marc-Antoine Pion (D)
No. 98 overall Connor McCroskey (A)
Watchlist’s Larsen Bidstrup (A)
Watchlist’s Jonathan Butler (D)
Watchlist’s Spencer Daniel (D)
16. Ohio State
No. 33 overall Willie Klan (G)
No. 64 overall Brandon Barker (M)
No. 89 overall Jack Jasinski (M)
No. 94 overall Matt Borges (D)
Watchlist’s Brian Lang (M)
Watchlist’s Alex Morris (M)
No. 56 overall Carter Flaig (A)
No. 70 overall Dawson McKenzie (A)
No. 79 overall Charlie Tarry (D)
Watchlist’s Emmett Cordrey (A)
Watchlist’s Charlie Durbin (M)
Watchlist’s Michael Morean (M)
No. 4 overall Joey Froccaro (M)
No. 28 defenseman Robert LoCascio
No. 14 goalie Nick Testa
Watchlist’s Andrew Gallahue (A)
Watchlist’s Timmy Hardy (A)
Watchlist’s Kevin Kelly (D)
19. High Point
No. 13 overall Alex Woodall (F/O)
No. 82 overall Quinton Eissler (A)
No. 87 overall Timmy Troutner (G)
Watchlist’s Michael Fraser (D)
No. 34 overall Decker Curran (M)
No. 84 overall Michael Borda (D)
Watchlist’s Brent Noseworthy (M)
Watchlist’s Brandon Shima (M)
Watchlist’s M.J. Melillo (D)