The task of ranking high school players becomes increasingly difficult each year. With the growth of the game (and more recruiting events popping up), there’s a lot to keep track of and to a certain extent, we’re splitting hairs when it comes to rankings. Generally, there’s more talent than ever, and that talent develops at different points throughout high school.
Some players were big and skilled heading into 9th grade, finalizing verbal commitments with top schools around that time. Others, however, bloomed a little bit later than their counterparts, as five recruits listed in this list of five-stars weren’t even ranked in the Top 100 a year ago. A handful more more were outside the Top 25 – you’ll find last year’s ranking listed in bold for each player.
Measuring who’s the best right now more so than who has the most college potential, the following 28 players have earned five-star recognition with one year left to play of high school ball. Evaluations have been gathered after extensive conversations with Division I coaches, film and of course, in-person scouting at club & HS games.
A full updated Top 100 for the Class of 2017 will be released next week, as will rankings for 2018’s and 2019’s.
Note: Class of 2016 graduates currently completing postgrad years aren’t included in this listing, but will re-join the rankings a year from now as they head to college.
1. Matt Moore, M, Garnet Valley (Pa.) | Virginia | No. 1
It was a tight battle for the No. 1 spot (and will continue to be next year), but Moore holds it down after amassing 106 points, earning All-American honors for the second time. Though he plays attack during the high school season, the Central League product likely fits in at the midfield in the ACC thanks to his athleticism and range, especially under the Hoos’ new coaching staff.
2. Connor DeSimone, M, Smithtown East (N.Y.) | Hopkins | No. 2
Developing the ability to turn the corner, DeSimone bumped down to X attack during the spring of 2016, putting his vision and crafty playmaking ability on display while putting up 39 goals and 39 helpers. His versatility elevated his status, as the Long Island native continued to show how much he’s able to do well. Expected to become the cornerstone of a tri-state heavy class for the Jays.
3. Connor Morin, A, Morristown-Beard (N.J.) | Notre Dame | No. 10
Confident and consistent, Morin dazzled throughout the summer playing for a loaded Leading Edge squad, also picking up tournament MVP honors at Under Armour. Switching from Villanova to the Fighting Irish in December, the 6’3, 200-pound dodger has shown that he’s not just a summer superstar, putting up 81 points for Mo-Beard this past spring.
4. Alex Trippi, A, Bullis (Md.) | UNC | No. 26
Trippi was a constant force for the Bullis this past season, notching 56G/48A for the IAC champions as a junior, showing off his creative left-handed dodging style. Though looked at as undersized, the Washington Post Player of the Year has excellent quickness and body control, allowing him to make eye-popping plays with ease.
5. Alex Rode, G, St. Paul’s (Md.) | Virginia | No. 22
In his first year as starter, Rode continued the tradition of standout goalies in the Crusaders’ program, setting SP’s school record for saves in a season with a whopping 258 stops. The poised left-hander will have another year under his belt facing the MIAA’s stiff competition and is expected to heavily contend for starting duties at UVA right away.
6. Nakeie Montgomery, M, Episcopal Dallas (Tex.) | Duke | No. 4
Arguably the most talented lacrosse recruit to ever come out of the Lone Star State, Montgomery upped his point total considerably, racking up 63 goals and 44 assists during the spring. An electrifying and elusive athlete, the Blue Devils will anxiously await his letter of intent, as he’s been receiving attention for lighting up the Dallas football scene so far.
7. Arden Cohen, LSM/D, Gunnery (Conn.) | Notre Dame | NR
A later commit compared to the rest of the five stars, this left-handed NYC native has established himself as the top defenseman in his class a year out. Cohen possesses an incredible compete level and motor, fundamentally and aggressively attacking ball carriers (whether it’s up top or down low) and getting the ball upfield. Plays club for Prime Time.
8. Chris Gray, A, Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.) | Boston U. | NR
Gray exploded onto the scene this spring, leading Long Island in points with an output of 79 goals along with 22 assists. He’s devastating with time and room, but also quick and savvy enough to beat his man with a strong repertoire of moves from behind the goal or from the wings. Likely a transformational recruit for Ryan Polley’s Terriers.
9. Lucas Quinn, M, Niskayuna (N.Y.) | Syracuse | No. 3
Despite more attention from opponents, Quinn upped his production to 99 points, earning Albany Times-Union POY honors in the process. In a year’s time, the upstate product has bulked up, developed into a dangerous feeder and has taken his game between the lines. Spearheads a strong group of 2017 middies bound for ‘Cuse.
10. Colin Munro, A, Mountain Vista (Colo.) | UNC | No. 7
Named an All-American, Munro played inspired lacrosse in the spring, notching 54 goals and 35 assists before taking his talents north of the border to play box all summer. The lefty accomplished a rare feat for an American, winning the coveted Minto Cup in Jr. A with the Coquitlam Adanacs, turning up his production during their playoff run alongside several current college standouts.
11. Aidan Olmstead, A, Corning (N.Y.) | Loyola | No. 16
12. Ryan O’Connell, M, New Canaan (Conn.) | UNC | No. 6
13. Owen Prybylski, D, Westfield (N.J.) | Villanova | No. 25
14. Jose Boyer, LSM, Yorktown (N.Y.) | PG / Notre Dame | No. 42
15. Justin Inacio, F/O, Hill Academy (Ont.) | Ohio State | NR
16. Michael Drake, M, Salesianum (Del.) | Notre Dame | No. 17
17. Tucker Dordevic, A/M, Jesuit (Ore.) | Syracuse | NR
18. Matt Licciardi, M, Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) | Cornell | No. 15
19. Frankie Tangredi, D, Chaminade (N.Y.) | Harvard | No. 8
20. Riley Curtis, A, Hill Academy (Ont.) | Denver | NR
21. James Avanzato, A/M, Sachem North (N.Y.) | Maryland
22. Adrian Enchill, LSM, Westminster (Conn.) | Notre Dame | No. 11
23. JT Bugliosi, A, Calvert Hall (Md.) | Ohio State | No. 41
24. Alex Buckanavage, A, Brunswick (Conn.) | Michigan | No. 13
25. Chris Fake, D, Hun (N.J.) | Yale | No. 16
26. Jack Keogh, A, Manhasset (N.Y.) | Hopkins | No. 24
27. Andrew Fowler, LSM/D, Landon (Md.) | Cornell | No. 12
28. Drew Morris, G, New Canaan (Conn.) | Maryland | No. 67