Recruiting Mailbag, 10/31: Top ’18 Classes Outside Of The Usual Suspects & The Rise Of In-Home Visits

BwsS3_eC_400x400.jpgEvent season is here. We haven’t had a fall tournament season under these new recruiting rules, so it’ll be exciting to see how different colleges approach November, a month that also features National Signing Week for lacrosse.

With that said, there’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get to it.

If you’d like to submit a question for next week’s recruiting mailbag (last week’s column can be seen here), drop me a line at or send me a DM on Twitter @tyxanders.

Why have we seen a rise in Division I coaches making in-home visits?
-Patrick in Long Island

The increase of in-home visits absolutely has to do with the number of switches and flips. Now that 80 of them have occurred in the Class of 2018, I would imagine that coaches feel that they have to spend a small chunk of the recruiting budget to keep other schools away and show commits love. Getting in a recruit’s home is simply a phenomenal way to solidify relationships. If you’re a college coach, it may not be easy or necessary to visit all of your commits leading up to Signing Day, though it’s probably a good idea to make as many as you can if it’s a highly valued and program-changing group.

Of course, in-home visits are only allowed during the mandated contact periods. I have specifically heard about several in-home visits to 2018’s over the past few weeks, even to places like California and Texas, among others. A handful of coveted 2019’s even received those visits – there’s no doubt that they make a statement to the players. As long as we have a high volume of players looking around and being pursued by top schools, in-home visits will continue to happen frequently.

The usual suspects of the Big 10, ACC and Ivy League get the best recruiting classes year after year. Can you point out a few schools outside of those conferences that will be bringing top Class of 2018 classes? -Anonymous

I’d be inclined to point out Lehigh, Navy and Denver as three programs set to sign excellent recruiting classes in a few weeks. However, I’d be remiss not to mention schools like Georgetown, Loyola, Towson and Villanova for the prospects that they have on board in the ’18 class.

I love Lehigh’s class, consisting of four players in my top 100 and several more notable recruits. Of those four, three are from New Jersey’s runner up team at Under Armour: #39 Patrick McIlroy (D – Westfield HS), #84 Tommy Schelling (A – Delbarton) and #100 Judah Hicks (LSM – Moorestown HS), an All-Tournament pick who committed on Monday. Standout goal scorers Jesse James West (A – Sparta HS) and Cole Kirst (A/M – Seton Hall Prep) also help make up that class, while local face-off wizard Mike Sisselberger (Southern Lehigh, Pa.) should help get Kevin Cassese’s team extra possessions for years to come. Look for Chad Kittaka (A/M – Carmel, Ind.) and Anthony Tangredi (D – Chaminade, N.Y.) to contribute as well.

Navy’s class is a sign of the times – six recruits were formerly committed to other schools, and most (if not all) could be classified as poaches. Two highly regarded midfield recruits at one point bound for Annapolis ended up flipping to Duke and Princeton. Overall, it’s just an extraordinarily balanced group of 21 players, led by #34 Chase Cope (M – Severna Park, Md.), #61 Ethan LaMond (M – La Salle, Pa.) and #93 Logan Blondell (Southern Lehigh, Pa.) in the Top 100. Beyond that, there’s too much talent to name, especially when it comes to the defensive side of the ball. A Patriot League Tournament title should be well within reach every year as long as these studs can get from NAPS to the Academy.

It’s easy to be impressed with the constant geographical diversity in Bill Tierney’s recruiting classes, and this class is no different. Seven players hail from the western United States along with six Canadians and two established prospects from the D.C. suburbs. Ontario native Alex Simmons, another Culver (Ind.) product, is going to have a massive impact on the Pios’ offense. The same goes for #50 Drew Erickson (San Ramon Valley, Calif.) and a trio of British Columbia natives in #78 Will Clayton (Culver, Ind.) and the Wilson twins from Claremont. Just like the two aforementioned D1 programs, Denver lost some talent to other programs, though they aren’t hurting for depth one bit.

If you are labeled an All-American or written up about or does that give you an advantage in the recruiting process? -Anonymous

Quite frankly, I don’t think that you’ll get a tremendous advantage from either one or at least that’s been the case during early recruiting. All-American awards are for the most part reserved for juniors and seniors – if you’re a sophomore named as an AA by US Lacrosse (regional coaches do the voting), however, that speaks volumes about your talent level.

When it comes to the write-ups, a few dozen college coaches have told me that they routinely read the event recaps. I don’t really ask the specifics beyond that because I don’t really care. Though I do consult college coaches on players before rankings and listen to their opinions while posted up in lawn chairs on the sidelines, the write-ups are almost entirely my opinions. Coaches may check out Recruiting Rundown and other sites after an event for fun, but it’s not as if they’d read one of my articles and instantly call that player that was written up in an online blurb. It may help an existing opinion of a player if a coach read a recap of an event that they didn’t attend, but I don’t feel as though a write-up is super impactful on recruitment.

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