The Rundown: Top 10 Reads Of The Year, Class of 2019 Switches, Mid-Year College Transfers, Mailbag Questions

f4d93295-a8ec-4699-bcf5-c259467cd975It’s time to say farewell to 2017, Recruiting Rundown’s third full calendar year in existence. Overall, it was a pretty incredible 12 months between covering more events than ever, adding more contributors to the fray and having the state of recruiting change drastically.

We’re working on making some big steps for 2018 and can’t wait to share it over the next few months. Keeping that in mind, I’m definitely open to any and all suggestions on what can be done to improve RR. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail (tyxanders@gmail.com), comment below or send a DM with any suggestions on additions or changes for the year ahead. I couldn’t be more thankful for everyone’s support of this project and am extremely excited for what’s to come in 2018.

As of the Friday before the New Year, I’ll be taking a little more time off to recharge the batteries in advance of January’s brief event season. I’ll be heading to San Diego on the first weekend of 2018, followed by a weekend in Tampa for the NLF’s annual event at IMG Academy. While I’m away, here are a few links and stories:

– I recently added a college transfer submission form, which can be found here. If you’re looking for a new home and want to be connected with any college coaches, fill that out and help us stay updated on the transfer rate in Divison I.

– A lot of people ask how to submit verbals and de-commitments. It’s awfully easy…

Submit 2018’s
Submit 2019’s
Submit 2020’s
De-Commitments / Switches

– We just made an update to the listings of commitments:

Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Class of 2020

Recruiting Rundown’s Most Viewed Stories of 2017

Let’s look back at the most read stories from the past year, which excludes static pages like the commitment lists and Top 100 rankings.

#1 – Breaking Down RR’s Five-Star Class of 2018 Prospects
Since the Rundown’s first rankings were unveiled in 2015, I’ve posted my list of five-stars while leading up to the release of the Top 100 rankings. To me, it’s the best way to anoint the very best players in the country, a la football & basketball coverage.

#2 – Breaking Down RR’s Five-Star Class of 2019 Prospects
17 juniors received five-star recognition in this class, while more players will receive additional stars over the next several months. UVA recruit Connor Shellenberger was named the No. 1 recruit in the country.

#3 – NCAA Passes Proposal Eliminating Recruiting Until Junior Year
I’ll never forget April 14th – one could make the argument that it was the sport’s most important news of the year. In this article, I broke down what it meant for club lacrosse, college coaches and high school coaches. This, of course, has changed as we’ve been able to see the effects first hand, but it will be fun to see what happens with the 2020 and 2021 classes in particular.

#4 – RR’s Preseason Top 25 High School Rankings
Midwest powerhouse Culver Academy (Ind.) took No. 1 honors in the preseason, followed by Ontario’s Hill Academy and Baltimore’s McDonogh School. Check back over the next few weeks for the upcoming preseason rankings for the 2018 spring.

#5 – Highlight Reels: What To Do & What Not To Do
This is cheating a little bit, as this article originally ran in 2015, but it got to the point where I saw so many poorly executed highlight reels that I had to re-run it in late July. I’ll make sure to post this every few months as a general guideline during the editing process.

#6 – Standouts from NLF Futures at IMG Academy
#7 – A Look at the Top Players at Crabfeast, Pt. 1
#8 – Standouts From Big 4 Champions League
#9 – A Breakdown of the Standouts at Nike Blue Chip
#10 – Breaking Down Over 40 Standouts From Fall NHSLS

Ranked 2019 Switches Happen In Bunches 

I was incredibly curious to see how many juniors would switch up once September 1st hit, knowing that many had made verbals in the past year or two. So far, we’ve seen 21 unranked players change it up since 9/1, while 10 juniors from September’s Top 100 have switched their commitments. The same amount switched verbals prior to the rule change.

No. 4 Jake Taylor, A, Regis Jesuit (Colo.) | Denver to Notre Dame (Dec. 9th)
No. 11 Ben Finlay, LSM, Gonzaga (D.C.) | Hopkins to Princeton (Oct. 11th)
No. 31 Angelo Petrakis, F/O, Massapequa (N.Y.) | Lehigh to Cornell (Oct. 10th)
No. 40 Andrew Tyeryar, F/O, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.) | Michigan to UNC (Sept. 9th)
No. 41 Quentin Matsui, LSM/D, Eden Prairie (Minn.) | Denver to UVA (Oct. 14th)
No. 42 Eli Ensor, M, McCallie (Tenn.) | Navy to Ohio State (Oct. 11th)
No. 60 Connor Humiston, A, Georgetown Prep (Md.) | UVA to Georgetown (Oct. 11th)
No. 68 Jack Ruddy, LSM/D, Hun (N.J.) | Lafayette to Hopkins (Oct. 6th)
No. 72 Michael Mines, M, Torrey Pines (Calif.) | Rutgers to Maryland (Sept. 13th)
No. 78 BJ Burlace, LSM/D, St. Mary’s (Md.) | Maryland to Yale (Oct. 11th)

Many of these situations are different, and probably shouldn’t all be considered flips. One player was essentially dropped. Another de-committed early in the spring and found a new home in October. One player upgraded after a spot opened up at a top program. Five recruits made decisions to look around shortly following September 1st, either de-committing entirely or telling staffs that they were going to take visits. Two others switched it up out of nowhere, at least in my mind.

There’s no doubt that this trend will continue for the Class of 2019, especially in the summer and fall. Regarding the 2020’s, I think we’ll see the highest number of switches in that class, both due to the number of commitments and to the overall talent of that class.

Send Me Your Recruiting Questions, People

I’ve really enjoyed putting together five mailbag columns this fall and have been really pleased that the feedback that they’ve received. Social media is definitely a great place to share opinions, but the mailbag allows people the ability to stay anonymous when asking questions and for me to put together longer answers. I’m going to take a look back at my direct messages on Twitter in advance of next week’s mailbag, but the well is just about dry in terms of answerable and intriguing questions.

As I mentioned, feel free to stay anonymous or list your first name and home state if that suits you. I’m definitely trying to pick up the frequency in which I put this out, as event coverage and the holidays took priority for much of the fall. I plan on continuing it through the winter doldrums leading up to the season. ICYMI, make sure to check out the previous columns below:

Mailbag, 9/27: Maryland’s recruiting, the importance of showcases & the Ivy League
Mailbag, 10/16: My thoughts on poaching, benefits of PG years and 2020 recruiting
Mailbag, 10/31: The rise of in-home visits & top 2018 classes outside of the usual suspects
Mailbag, 11/14: Top three 2018 recruiting classes and the Ivies’ incoming group
Mailbag, 12/6: Analyzing the 2020’s, spring evaluations, 2018 flips & late adds

Transfers From Non-Hotbeds: ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go?’

A good friend of mine, Ryan Cassidy, recently launched Texas Lacrosse News after returning to his home state following a successful four seasons in the college coaching world at York and High Point. Balancing the website with his main gig working for the Austin Fire Department, Ryan has been a stellar job promoting the state’s talent in addition to some awesome podcasts throughout the last few weeks.

About two weeks ago, he put together an outstanding piece that talked about the abundance of non-hotbed standouts that end up leaving their original destinations mid-year. This is a topic that is definitely relevant around this time of year as freshmen spend Christmas break back home, enjoying time with family and friends while wondering if the grass is greener on the other side and closer to home.

A few things to add:

First off, I’m a homebody myself and struggled at college several hours away, so I definitely understand the desire to be closer to home. Every situation is different, however. Though you may be out of your comfort zone, each college program has an incredible support system between the players, coaches and advisors. Use them and be open and honest. Realize that whatever big decision you make, they will support no matter what, due to the fact that they want what’s best for you.

When it comes to Division I ball, at least, it’s a given that there aren’t many options away from the East Coast. With that said, there are tons of outstanding MCLA programs benefitting from these transfers. Look at Colorado for example – two Western natives left the Maryland Terrapins during the 2014-2015 school year to be closer to home at big schools. They’ve reportedly had fruitful college experiences playing for the Buffs, and that’s just one example. I have no numbers to back it up, but it’s amazing how many players from non-hotbeds end up transferring mid-year or after their first spring playing college lacrosse. That’s perfectly acceptable, though we can only hope that more programs in the West and South support Division I programs long term.

Within early recruiting, I’ve always felt that you really can’t know for sure whether or not you want to attend college close or far away from home until you’re 17, 18 or 19 years old. Chalk this up as another reason why April’s early recruiting regulations helped all parties involved.

In summary, kudos to Ryan Cassidy for discussing this topic at length. I know that I got a ton out of reading it and would imagine that hundreds of people did as well.

Throw Texas Lacrosse News a follow on Twitter, check out the website and give his podcasts a listen, including the episode that I did with Ryan earlier in the fall.

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