Breakdown Of The Top Five 2017 Recruiting Classes

UVA commit Harry Wellford from St. Louis

UVA commit Harry Wellford from St. Louis

After analyzing the top 2018 groups on Friday, it’s time to break down the five 2017 classes that have stood out after two years on the recruiting circuit. As I mentioned last week, the rise in freshman recruiting has given writers the opportunity to give a scope of which classes stand out. In bigger sports like football and basketball, class rankings often shuffle as schools add more pieces in the players’ junior and senior years, whereas in lacrosse things only move based on how the individuals raise their stock.

For reference, you can find the list of Class of 2017 verbals here as well as September’s Top 100 rankings. In addition, click on each player name below for a link to their most recent highlight reels.


No. 1 Matt Moore, M, Garnet Valley (Pa.)
No. 14 Will Rock, LSM, Gonzaga (D.C.)
No. 16 Chris Fake, D, Hun (N.J.)
No. 22 Alex Rode, G, St. Paul’s (Md.)
No. 23 Hall Peters, D, St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.)
No. 27 Harry Wellford, M, MICDS (Mo.)
No. 32 Ian Laviano, A, Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.)
No. 54 Griffin Harris, A/M, Governor’s (Mass.)
No. 62 Ryan Pride, M, Landon (Md.)
No. 77 Jackson Appelt, A, New Canaan (Conn.)
John Fox, M, Brunswick (Conn.) – PG ’17

The ‘Hoos are bringing in top-three caliber classes in each of the next three falls, however this 2017 group looks to be the most talent-laden and balanced. It starts with Matt Moore, a force of a downhill dodger who will compete for minutes as soon as he arrives in Charlottesville. Defensively, they’ll add three shutdown longpoles in Rock (more of a LSM), Fake and Peters as well as a phenomenal lefty keeper in Rode – all were named five-stars back in August. Wellford and Pride are intriguing middies who have proven to be lethal outside shooters, while Fox is a do-it-all type who looks like he’ll thrive at SSDM. Laviano, Harris and Appelt are excitable and high IQ dodgers poised to vie for time on the attack end.

2. DUKE 

No. 4 Nakeie Montgomery, M, Episcopal Dallas (Tex.)
No. 5 Nate Buller, A, Landon (Md.)
No. 9 Cam Badour, M, IMG Academy (Fla.)
No. 35 J.P. Basile, A, Garden City (N.Y.)
No. 48 Cam Mule, A, Half Hollow Hills East (N.Y.)
No. 53 Preston Heard, G, Sidwell Friends (D.C.)
No. 55 Matt Chmil, M, Chaminade (N.Y.)
No. 78 Zeke Narcise, LSM/D, McDonogh (Md.)
No. 89 Sr. Raines Shamburger, LSM/D, Westminster (Ga.) – PG ’17

Top to bottom, this is an incredibly impressive recruiting class for the Blue Devils, who will look to restock the offense the next two seasons after heavy graduation losses. To start, Montgomery and Badour have the potential to be a dangerously athletic 1-2 midfield punch similar to what Myles Jones and Deemer Class have done in Durham. Buller is a phenomenal lefty, while Basile and Mule are two more textbook dodgers with a lot of potential. On the other side of the ball, Chmil could contribute at shorty or on offense with Shamburger and Narcise being imposing and versatile defensemen. In cage, Heard is super explosive and will instantly throw his name into the goalie competition.


No. 6 Ryan O’Connell, M, New Canaan (Conn.)
No. 7 Colin Munro, A, Mountain Vista (Colo.)
No. 26 Alex Trippi, A, Bullis (Md.)
No. 39 Joe Carrington, D, San Ramon Valley (Calif.)
No. 50 Brandon Hayek, LSM/D, Oxbridge Academy (Fla.)
No. 61 Sean Morris, M, Brunswick (Conn.)
No. 74 Jack Kozmetsky, M, Highland Park (Tex.)
No. 81 Ara Atayan, A/M, Bronxville (N.Y.)
No. 92 Parker Alexander, M, Highland Park (Tex.)
Kevin Gill, M, Morristown-Beard (N.J.)
Bailey Laidman, A, Dover-Sherborn (Mass.)
Steven Schneider, M, Manhasset (N.Y.)
Kyle Kolwich, LSM/D, Holy Trinity (Ont.)

For UNC, the rich get richer, adding nine Top 100 recruits two years from now. Joe Breschi made a big addition in July when former Michigan commit Ryan O’Connell, an outstanding middie from Fairfield County, decided on the Tar Heels. A ton of lefties are headed to Chapel Hill in the next few seasons but Colin Munro is certainly the most established – on top of that, he has Canadian-like box skills and is a coach’s son. Offensively, Trippi, Morris and Atayan have all improved tremendously over the past year, while there are a plethora of other offensive weapons on board. Carolina won’t be taking a ’17 goalie, however it’s an awesome group of D poles heading in. Lefty Ontario native Kyle Kolwich, who committed this summer, is the sleeper.


No. 8 Frankie Tangredi, D, Chaminade (N.Y.)
No. 29 Steven Cuccurullo, F/O, Smithtown East (N.Y.)
No. 30 Jack Frisoli, M, St. Sebastian’s (Mass.)
No. 34 Charlie Olmert, M, Severn (Md.)
No. 68 Kyle Mullin, G, West Chester Rustin (Pa.)
No. 70 Bryn Evans, M, St. Ignatius (Calif.)
No. 72 Myles Hamm, M, Westminster (Conn.)
Kyle Salvatore, M, Taft (Conn.)
Brendan Forst, D, Bronxville (N.Y.)

Chris Wojcik has assembled an extraordinary 2017 recruiting class to pledge to Harvard’s daunting admissions process (labeled as ‘Ivy League’ on the commit list). Tangredi has been touted as the top shutdown cover man in the class, while it’s the midfield group that really stands out as the best in the country. Frisoli, Olmert, Evans, Hamm and Salvatore have all been off the charts, showing athleticism, grit and outside shooting ability. Mullin was a late add in cage and Cuccurullo is a dominant draw taker who will likely provide the Crimson with a significant possession advantage for years to come.


No. 2 Connor DeSimone, M, Smithtown East (N.Y.)
No. 24 Jack Keogh, A, Manhasset (N.Y.)
No. 31 Brett Baskin, A, La Salle (Pa.)
No. 52 Brandon Shure, D, McDonogh (Md.)
No. 57 Jared Reinson, D, Montgomery (N.J.)
No. 66 Luke Shilling, A, Boys’ Latin (Md.)
No. 76 Lucas Capobianco-Hogan, D, Mt. Sinai (N.Y.)
Braden Atkinson, FO/M, Boys’ Latin (Md.)
Kyle DiPietro, M, St. Paul’s (Md.)
Ryan Darby, G, Plano West (Tex.)
Joe Robertson, A, St. Anne’s Belfield (Va.)
Hunter Graefe, LSM/D, Regis Jesuit (Colo.)

Though it may not be as deep as they would like, the Blue Jays have accumulated a noticeably strong recruiting class with their 2017’s. DeSimone has jumped off the page early on with his prowess up top and headlines this group along with club teammates Keogh and Capobianco-Hogan at attack and defense, respectively. It’s an undersized foursome at attack but extremely talented, particularly Baskin from PA. Shure and Reinson are excellent defensive prospects who could climb in the rankings going forward. Despite not being talked about as much (sat out the spring due to MIAA transfer rules) BL product Braden Atkinson is one to watch going forward, as is teammate Shilling.


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