P.C. – Inmer Hernandez
Now in its 17th summer of existence, Nike Blue Chip took place last week at UMBC for a multitude of different classes, as Jake Reed and his staff hosted dozens of largely uncommitted players hoping to get looks midway through the summer circuit. Most notably, the event experienced a change and resurgence of sorts after discontinuing a partnership with 3d Lacrosse, who worked with Jake for five years with January’s regional tryout camps accounting for roughly half of the attendees at the summer Blue Chip sessions. The talent looked very solid, as there were more representatives from the East Coast hotbeds than the previous few years in addition to tons of ‘diamond in the rough’ type of recruits from all over the country.
I attended for morning and afternoon sessions in the 2018/2019 combined group, while intern Reece Belcher checked out the 2020’s a day later.
Brendan Sigurdson ’19, A, Archbishop Moeller (Oh.) / Chill Elite
A huge target who amassed close to 100 points for the state champs this spring, Sigurdson was able to sling it with success from the hashes as a lethal shooter throughout the camp. He was constantly moving his feet to create scoring opportunities and opposing defensemen (even the bigger D guys) had trouble bodying him up due to his 6’3, 195-pound frame. Expect the Cincinnati product to get Top 25 looks come September 1st.
Colin O’Connor ’19, LSM/D, La Costa Canyon (Calif.) / West Coast Starz
I’ve watched O’Connor extensively for SD United at Adrenaline’s events, but I came away even more impressed with his versatility and hustle last week at Blue Chip. He did a great job scrapping at the face-off dot with his longpole and was super slick off the ground to trigger transition. The 6’2, 170-pound rising junior was a pure GB vacuum but could also cover, blanketing midfielders and catching a number of them sleeping with trail checks.
Jack Thomas ’18, A, Severna Park (Md.) / Annapolis Hawks
Renowned for scoring the GWG with three seconds left to cap the Falcons’ undefeated season and state championship, Thomas was arguably the most consistently impressive 2018 at the event. Though undersized, he was able to get to the rack in a variety of ways, whether it was a hesitation dodge, inside roll or just relying on explosiveness to beat his man. On top of his IQ and scoring ability, he wasn’t afraid to put his nose in the dirt for contested groundballs and also made some great plays in the riding game.
Jordan Walker ’19, FO/M, Carmel (Ind.) / Juiced Cherries
What an awesome athlete. Much more than a FOGO, Walker won draws forward with regularity and often went to the rack – for some reason, defenses didn’t pick up on this and usually didn’t respect him enough to slide. In settled situations, the lefty had a superb split dodge with a ton of shake to boot. If he can add more to his frame, Walker has plenty of skills that make him an attractive Division I player.
Hayes Reding ’19, LSM/D, St. Thomas Academy (Minn.) / Team Minnesota
Reding had an excellent handle on his longpole that would make you think that he’s just another lifelong hockey player in the Twin Cities, but he’s originally from the Charleston area way down in South Carolina. He demonstrated pretty strong footwork and was just solid across the board, especially with the ball in the open field. Great pole to keep an eye on as he continues to polish his 1-on-1 cover ability.
Luke Talago ’19, F/O, Allentown Central Catholic (Pa.) / Duke’s LC
Bound for Syracuse, Talago was essentially automatic at Blue Chip, as teams just assumed he’d get the ball himself and started to plan around it to prevent fast-break goals. Very technical and well built for the position, he was extraordinarily quick to the whistle compared to his peers. One of two FOGOs committed to Syracuse in the 2019 class, a group that’s very diverse from a geographical sense.
King Ripley ’19, M, St. Mary’s (Md.) / Annapolis Hawks
Ripley had very little trouble getting his hands free and goalies had just as much of an issue when it came to picking up his shots because of how quickly he got it off. He had the confidence to sling it from long range whether it was a beauty of a shot on the run or a step-down opportunity. I’d like to see him mix it up more than just high-to-high, but he’s definitely a nice shooter with his strong hand starting to pick up steam.
Blake Gonzalez ’20, D, Boys Latin (Md.) / Looney’s
Gonzalez was the most impressive long-pole at the rising sophomore event, showcasing both fantastic individual and team defense. Using a combination of athleticism, excellent footwork, and aggressive but strong checks, Gonzalez imposes himself upon and shuts down opposing attackmen. Gonzalez was an asset for his team by being a vocal leader on every slide and clearing the ball efficiently.
Dutch Furlong ’20, M, Gilman (Md.) / Crabs
Although he ran mostly as a midfielder on Thursday, Furlong did his best work from X, inverting his defensive midfielder and using incredible footwork to get above GLE where he is both a fantastic feeder and finisher. Furlong’s best attribute is his versatility. Due to his combination of athleticism and size, accompanied with his natural shooting stroke and incredible vision, Furlong is able to play multiple positions and is a threat from almost anywhere on the field.
Oliver Krohn ’20, FO, Scarsdale (N.Y.) / Express North
On Thursday, Krohn dominated his opponents, winning nearly every draw he took. A product of the FaceOff Academy, Krohn possesses incredible hand speed and reaction time. Whether he was winning it forward, placing the ball perfectly for his wings, or using a defensive draw to exit, he demonstrated elite level technique across the board.
Carter Davidson ‘20, M, Mt. Lebanon (Pa.) / Low and Away
Davidson seemingly did everything for his team Thursday; he scored goals, cleared the ball and played physical defense. The big lefty is a natural two-way midfielder who is terrific in transition due to his speed and slick shooting. Davidson did most of his work in the alleys, using a hard-nosed north-south dodging style to beat his man and finish on the run.
Richie Connell ’18, A, Mullen (Colo.) / Denver Elite
Justin Kelly ’18, D, Bullis (Md.) / VLC Crabs
Blake Evensen ’19, A, Stillwater (Minn.) / Team Minnesota
Jack Kavanagh ’19, M, Gonzaga (D.C.) / Blackwolf
JB Conner ’19, M, Mamaroneck (N.Y.) / 2Way Select
Sam Parkinson ’19, M, St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.) / Alcatraz Outlaws
Ryan McDaniel ’19, D, Spalding (Md.) / Annapolis Hawks
Jacob Baumgardt ’18, D, Franklin (Wisc.) / Spring City
Reed Weinberg ’18, D, Johns Creek (Ga.) / 3d Georgia
William Moran ’19, G, Dallas Jesuit (Tex.) / Iron Horse
Michael Kearney ’19, M, Bergen Catholic (N.J.) / Blue Star
Colin Mone ’18, G, Culver (Ind.) / Road Warriors
Casey Abrahall ’18, M, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) / LI Jesters
Michel Feeney ’19, A, Sherwood (Md.) / Roughriders
Tommy Miller ’20, M, Rivers School (Mass.) / Fighting Clams
Antonio Topouzis ’20, M, La Salle Academy (R.I.) / Fighting Clams
Speed Fry ’20, M, Palos Verdes (Calif.) / Legends West
Charlie Rose ’20, A, St. Mark’s (Tex.) / C2C Dallas
Henry Blake ’20, G, Marin Catholic (Calif.) / LB3
Brendan O’Berry ’20, D, Gonzaga (D.C.) / FCA Maryland
Perry Kramer ’20, D, Lassiter (Ga.) / Thunder
Greg Reynolds ’20, A, Garnet Valley (Pa.) / Freedom