Due to the new recruiting rules being put in place back in the spring, the Class of 2019 received a ton of eyes this summer as coaches universally emphasized upperclassmen more than before, spending June and July shuffling names on their lists in preparation for the September 1st contact date. Whether committed or not, coaches gained a strong idea of the cream of the crop within the class, and we did too.
It’s a class that may not be as loaded top to bottom as previous and future classes, but there are certainly strengths in areas like LSM/D and the face-off position, in particular. Of course, there’s still plenty of time to see how things shake out as players develop over the next two years heading into college. Right now, the following 100 players stand out, and I’m fired up to present Recruiting Rundown’s annual rankings for the rising junior class.
The ranking process has been time-consuming, so we’re still working to update the Class of 2019 commit list, so check back on Friday for that. In addition, have a look at this week’s Class of 2018 Top 100.
Class of 2019 Five-Stars
1. Connor Shellenberger, A, Bullis (Md.) | Madlax | Virginia | No. 1
It would have required an awful lot for another player to grab No. 1 honors from Shellenberger, who recently left St. Anne’s Belfield (Va.) for IAC power Bullis. Drawing comparisons to Matt Danowski, he does the majority of his damage from the top of the box and from the wings, showing the total package of explosiveness, shooting ability and the necessary intangibles. He’s a presence who shoots the lights out, but more importantly, makes the players around him better and doesn’t try to force anything. The US All-American is smooth and confident with the ball in his stick, developing significantly as a feeder over the past year, as he finished the spring with 70 goals and 51 assists. It’s not easy living up to the expectations that come with being named the top recruit in the class, but he’s done that, turning in phenomenal performances at places like the Naptown Challenge, Crabfeast and Under Armour. Constantly working on his game, Shellenberger will benefit tremendously from seeing top competition day in and day out.
2. Kenny Brower, D, Massapequa (N.Y.) | Team 91 | Duke | No. 7
A lefty with a mean streak, Brower had an excellent summer as 91’s defensive leader, thriving both 1-on-1 or away from the ball. He’s a technician who flips his hips and blankets his man at X due to excellent footwork, sneaky athleticism and awesome fundamentals. Coaches rave about his work off-ball, as Brower is constantly calling out slide packages and putting his teammates in the right spots. Young for his age (the Duke commit doesn’t turn 16 until before Christmas), he has transferred from Kellenberg Memorial to one of Long Island’s top public programs.
3. Will Frisoli, LSM/D, St. Sebastian’s (Mass.) | Laxachusetts | Harvard | No. 2
Though it’s easy to love his motor and playmaking between the ability, Frisoli’s ability to dominate at both close defense and LSM is what makes him such a high-end recruit. He’s physical and highly athletic with an active stick, either jarring the ball loose or plucking out of midair before darting upfield with the rock. Even as a sophomore, many ISL offenses wouldn’t go anywhere near Frisoli.
4. Jake Taylor, A, Regis Jesuit (Colo.) | Denver Elite, USBOXLA | Denver | WL
Plenty of spectators watching Taylor dominate this summer probably made the assumption that he’s Canadian, which isn’t totally crazy considering his skills in close. He may not have the ball in his stick for more than 30 seconds in a summer game, but that’s five goals to him, which he did in the Maverik Showtime ASG to snag MVP honors. A natural finisher, Taylor possesses unbelievable hands and has a general knack for scoring gained by playing gobs of box lacrosse throughout the year.
5. Connor Drake, A/M, Wilton (Conn.) | Team 91 | Duke | No. 3
The only sophomore to make 1st Team All-State in Connecticut, Drake largely played attack due to an injury suffered in hockey that limited his mobility, still finishing with 45 goals and 24 assists on the year. He’s an explosive, slashing dodger who projects as a two-way middie in college, making a number of beautiful plays this summer thanks to a strong shot on the run and great vision. A kid who is so impactful for his high school team, Drake does a fantastic job playing within himself at a high speed, so that has certainly translated well to club ball.
6. Scott Bower, D, Episcopal Dallas (Tex.) | Texas Mustangs | Virginia | No. 7
To put it simply, Bower has many of the qualities that ACC coaches look for when it comes to a defenseman. He’s big with long arms, pressing out to attack ball carriers before getting the ball back over to his offense. Picking up All-State honors this past spring, he’s excellent off the ground and carries the ball with confidence. The Wahoos need a boost defensively and Bower is not only someone who can shut down opposing attackmen, but can make things happen in transition.
7. Jake Caputo, M, Middle Creek (N.C.) | Team 91 | Duke | No. 4
A well-rounded player who put up 51 goals and 19 assists for the state champs, Caputo’s IQ sets him apart from the rest of the players in his class. He’s able to contribute from the wings, at the top of the box on defense and as a smooth dodging midfielder who shoots accurately. Like any other young player, he’ll need to continue to work on his consistency, but there’s no doubt that he’s an extremely effective player at the club level.
8. Bryson Shaw, M, Bullis (Md.) | Crabs | Maryland | No. 16
If you’re on Shaw’s team, you probably love him. If you’re playing against him, you’re probably frustrated by his compete level and playmaking ability. A freak athlete, he may be raw from a lacrosse standpoint, though you wouldn’t know by looking at his 30 goals and 13 assists. Shaw likely projects at d-middie (think Will Haus, but bigger and faster) in the Big 10, though that’s only if he doesn’t accept a full scholarship offer from one of the many notable football programs pursuing him.
9. Dyson Williams, A/M, Hill Academy (Ont.) | Whitby Warriors | Duke | No. 12
Most Canadian recruits aren’t known for their wheels, and almost all of them more don’t have a NLL legend as their father. The son of six-time All-Star forward Shawn Williams, the Duke-bound scorer runs the field impeccably well and is almost always good for a multi-goal performance. The lean lefty doesn’t need the ball to score and is expected to put up big time numbers over the next six seasons with Hill, Whitby and Duke, especially if he puts on a few more pounds to prepare for the ACC.
10. Liam Powderly, A, McDonogh (Md.) | Crabs | Uncommitted | No. 48
Coaches have drooled over Powderly’s game over the years — unfortunately for them, he’s one of the best golfers on the East Coast and will likely pursue that sport in college and beyond. Intelligent and two-handed, he may not pass the eye test due to a lack of prototypical size, but knows how to run an offense and does nothing but make plays. In his first year as a starter, Powderly exploded for 54 goals and 31 assists as a sophomore.
11. Ben Finlay, LSM/D, Gonzaga (D.C.) | SweetLax | Uncommitted | No. 19
Arguably the most in-demand 2019 still out there, Finlay is considering schools like Notre Dame, Duke, Virginia and some Ivies after de-committing from Hopkins during a breakout sophomore season. While he’s somewhat undersized, Finlay compensates with a level of tenacity and relentlessness that jumps off the page. He’s consistently putting the ball on the ground at either position on defense, even helping offensively when the opportunity is there.
12. Alex Slusher, A, Oregon Episcopal (Ore.) | 3d | Princeton | No. 9
Another stud from the West who was named an All-American, Slusher is already extremely comfortable with the ball in his stick anywhere around the cage, often finishing with flair. He plays with a ton of energy and though he can be reckless at times, Slusher is deceptively athletic and essentially does whatever it takes to put the ball in the back of the net. Princeton’s putting together some great recruiting classes on offense, so the Oregon native won’t be asked to do everything when the time comes.
13. Gavin Tygh, FO/M, Penn Charter (Pa.) | Big 4 HHH, Duke’s LC | Virginia | No. 15
The Class of 2019 is loaded with parity and talent at the face-off dot. While others may be more technical, it’s Tygh’s size, athleticism and well-rounded skill that puts him over the top. He’s always a threat to win the face-off (327 wins and 195 GB’s as a sophomore), but is constantly an active catalyst for the offense, finishing with 10 goals and four assists. Playing with the victorious Philly squad at the Under Armour, Tygh did a great job with draws but perhaps more notably, showed his complete game by doing a yeoman’s job at defensive midfield.
14. Payton Cormier, A, Oakville Trafalgar (Ont.) | Mimico, Edge | PG, Virginia | WL
Making a name for himself in Jr. A box, Cormier excelled with Mimico against players several years older, also thriving outdoors with the Edge program at the Naptown Challenge. He’s a big target who shoots accurately and is seemingly unfazed by anybody trying to stop him, making up for his lack of quicks with innate toughness and stick control. The first commit in the class, the senior will postgrad during the 2019 season — word is he’s strongly considered Hill Academy and IMG.
15. Owen Murphy, A, Avon Old Farms (Conn.) | SweetLax | Hopkins | No. 10
One of the most skilled players in the class, Murphy recently switched club programs and has transferred from Medfield (Mass.) after a 90-point season. With an equal propensity for both scoring and passing, Murphy makes impressive plays on a regular basis thanks to an incredible feel for the game. He’ll need to add some bulk in the next two years and embrace contact, especially now that he’s in a rigorous NE West league full of postgrads.
16. Blake Rodgers, LSM/D, Bullis (Md.) | VLC | PG, Hopkins | NR
Rodgers has progressed terrifically since committing to the Blue Jays, turning into a premier cover man that disrupts offense with his controlled aggression and precise checks. He showed no ‘off’ switch this summer, excelling at each event that he attended. Recently transferring from league rival St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.) for his senior year, Rodgers will provide the Bulldogs’ defense with a huge boost before leaving the region for a postgraduate year following graduation.
17. JJ Sillstrop, A/M, La Costa Canyon (Calif.) | West Coast Starz | Denver | NR
A skilled left-handed scorer, Sillstrop helped the Mavericks to a San Diego CIF title and brought in US All-American honors in the process. He hasn’t played a ton of club ball after collarbone injuries, but is a highly effective wing dodger who will surely fit well into the Pioneers’ offense thanks to his crafty playmaking ability and off-ball play. Few young players out there are as important to their high school team as Sillstrop is, and the sky’s the limit as he continues to grow and develop.
Class of 2019 Four-Stars
18. Zach Young, LSM/D, Hill Academy (Ont.) | Peterborough | UNC | WL
19. Canyon Birch, A, Manasquan (N.J.) | Upstate LC, Leading Edge | Army | WL
20. Clay Lanham, LSM/D, Georgetown Prep (Md.) | Crabs | UNC | No. 8
21. JJ Levandowski, M, St. Mark’s (Mass.) | Fighting Clams | Syracuse | No. 17
22. Lance Tillman, A, Valor Christian (Colo.) | 3d, FCA, Evolve | UNC | No. 18
23. Nick Harris, M, Dublin Coffman (Oh.) | Resolute | Notre Dame | No. 21
24. Henry Rentz, M, Severn (Md.) | Laxachusetts, Annapolis Hawks | Navy | NR
25. Michael Swirbalus, M, St. Sebastian’s (Mass.) | Laxachusetts | Duke | No. 14
26. Connor Mitchell, M, Calvert Hall (Md.) | FCA, Thunder | Ohio State | No. 31
27. Jake Giulieri, D, Georgetown Prep (Md.) | Blackwolf | Notre Dame | No. 37
28. Greg Campisi, LSM, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) | Team 91 | Harvard | No. 11
29. Devon McLane, A, Westfield (N.J.) | Patriot | Brown | No. 50
30. Cam Henry, LSM, McCallie (Tenn.) | LB3 Thunder, Nation United | Uncommitted | NR
31. Angelo Petrakis, F/O, Massapequa (N.Y.) | Team 91 | Lehigh | No. 33
32. Robert Schain, A/M, Bullis (Md.) | Madlax | Uncommitted | NR
33. Michael Long, A, Delbarton (N.J.) | Patriot | Uncommitted | NR
34. Grant Mitchell, M, Calvert Hall (Md.) | FCA, Thunder | Ohio State | No. 6
35. Max Schalit, LSM/D, Ponte Vedra (Fla.) | SweetLax | Notre Dame | WL
36. Dylan Pallonetti, A, Ward Melville (N.Y.) | LI Express, WM Patriot Elite | UMass | NR
37. Ed Arnold, D, Manhasset (N.Y.) | LI Express | Penn | NR
38. Cade MacLeod, A, Roswell (Ga.) | LB3 Thunder | Georgetown | WL
39. Deven Varney, G, Roxbury Latin (Mass.) | Laxachusetts | Penn | WL
40. Andrew Tyeryar, F/O, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.) | Madlax | UNC | No. 40
41. Quentin Matsui, D, Eden Prairie (Minn.) | Team MN, PROMO | Uncommitted | NR
42. Eli Ensor, A/M, McCallie (Tenn.) | LB3 Thunder, Nation United | Navy | NR
43. Tim Marcille, G, Gonzaga (D.C.) | Madlax | Hopkins | No. 25
44. Jake Bonomi, A/M, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) | LI Express | Michigan | No. 20
45. Christian Tomei, G, Oxbridge Academy (Fla.) | Palm Beach Revolution | Ohio St. | WL
46. Brett Mallee, LSM, La Salle (Pa.) | Big 4 HHH | Maryland | No. 27
47. Taylor Musa, A, Riverside (Va.) | Madlax | Colgate | NR
48. Kelan Duff, LSM/D, Culver (Ind.) | SweetLax | Maryland | No. 24
49. Christian Ronda, A, Brunswick (Conn.) | Prime Time | Princeton | No. 43
50. James Cipolla, A/M, Parkland (Pa.) | Big 4 HHH | Ohio State | No. 13
51. Christian Mule, A, Half Hollow Hills West (N.Y.) | Team 91 | Duke | No. 23
52. Eric Pacheco, F/O, Valor Christian (Colo.) | Denver | Denver Elite | NR
53. Jacob Snyder, D, Calvert Hall (Md.) | FCA Maryland | Ohio State | NR
54. Connor Whalen, LSM, Bishop Shanahan (Pa.) | Freedom | Maryland | No. 24
55. Bear Lockshin, M, Westminster (Conn.) | 3d | Princeton | NR
56. Peter Garno, M, Haverford (Pa.) | Mesa Fresh | Virginia | No. 30
57. Tyler Sandoval, F/O, Chaminade (N.Y.) | LI Express | Princeton | WL
58. Sutton Boland, D, Victor (N.Y.) | SweetLax | Penn State | WL
59. Graham Bundy, M, MICDS (Mo.) | West Coast Starz, PROMO | Georgetown | WL
60. Connor Humiston, A, Georgetown Prep (Md.) | Crabs | Virginia | No. 22
61. Colton Teitelbaum, G, Locust Valley (N.Y.) | LI Express | Loyola | WL
62. Elijah Black, A/M, St. Viator (Ill.) | Nation United | Ohio State | NR
63. Connor O’Reilly, D, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) | LI Express | Georgetown | WL
64. Patrick Hackler, M, Skaneateles (N.Y.) | Orange Crush | Uncommitted | NR
65. Jonathan Ford, LSM, Torrey Pines (Calif.) | West Coast Starz | PG, Notre Dame | NR
66. Najee Taylor, M, Loyola Academy (Ill.) | Duke’s LC | Notre Dame | NR
67. Logan Falconetti, A/M, Salesianum (Del.) | Annapolis Hawks | Lehigh | NR
68. Jack Ruddy, LSM/D, Hun (N.J.) | Leading Edge | Lafayette | NR
69. Joe Destro, LSM, Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) | Patriot | UNC | No. 34
70. Logan McNaney, G, Salisbury (Conn.) | SweetLax | Maryland | No. 35
71. Reilly Gray, M, Chaminade (N.Y.) | LI Express | Notre Dame | NR
72. Michael Mines, M, Torrey Pines (Calif.) | West Coast Starz | Maryland | NR
73. Michael Grogan, LSM/D, Episcopal (Va.) | Madlax | Duke | No. 26
74. Danny Maltz, A, Riverside (Va.) | SweetLax | Maryland | No. 47
75. Jack Brennan, A, Irondequoit (N.Y.) | SweetLax | Maryland | No. 46
76. Mason Reale, A, Fairfield Prep (Conn.) | Eclipse | Villanova | NR
77. Mitchell Myers, F/O, St. John Bosco (Calif.) | 3d | Uncommitted | NR
78. BJ Burlace, LSM/D, St. Mary’s (Md.) | Annapolis Hawks | Maryland | WL
79. Griffin King, M, Niskayuna (N.Y.) | SweetLax | Brown | NR
80. Will Hurley, LSM/D, Manheim Township (Pa.) | Big 4 HHH | Michigan | No. 44
81. Topher Bligh, A/M, St. Ignatius (Calif.) / West Coast Starz, Outlaws | Brown | WL
82. Tate Hallock, M, Forest Hills Central (Mich.) | Juiced Cherries | Uncommitted | NR
83. Emmett Barger, A/M, St. Anne’s Belfield (Va.) | Madlax | Notre Dame | No. 28
84. Owen Cauley, D, Severn (Md.) | Crabs | Penn | WL
85. Parker Byrd, D, Calvert Hall (Md.) | FCA Maryland | UNC | No. 42
86. Thomas Niedringhaus, A, MICDS (Mo.) | PROMO, 3d | Boston U. | NR
87. Reed Babcock, A, Regis Jesuit (Colo.) | Denver Elite | Denver | NR
88. Conor Calderone, F/O, Smithtown West (N.Y.) | Laxachusetts | Maryland | WL
89. Jack Spence, M, Springfield-Delco (Pa.) | Big 4 HHH | Lehigh | WL
90. James Donaldson, LSM/D, Brother Rice (Mich.) | Juiced Cherries | Georgetown | NR
91. Peter Davies, A, Taft (Conn.) | Laxachusetts | Michigan | WL
92. Joey Corbett, A/M, Don Bosco (N.J.) | Prime Time | Maryland | WL
93. Jacob Angelus, A/M, Paul VI (Va.) | Blackwolf | Hopkins | WL
94. Jake Engelke, A, Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) | Leading Edge | Holy Cross | NR
95. Bryson Rhee, M, Ephrata (Pa.) | Duke’s LC | Navy | WL
96. Frankie Ciniglio, D, Ward Melville (N.Y.) | Team 91 | Cornell | WL
97. Hunter Jaronski, LSM/D, Academy of the New Church (Pa.) | Duke’s LC | Hopkins |
98. John Hufnagel, D, Iona Prep (N.Y.) | Prime Time | Providence | NR
99. Dane Hall, M, St. John’s (D.C.) | Blackwolf | UMBC | NR
100. Stevie Jones, M, South Lakes (Va.) | Madlax | Villanova | NR