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The player rankings are undoubtedly the most highly anticipated pieces of content each year when it comes to recruiting. The ultimate conversation piece, they’re certainly controversial and have pros and cons. How could lacrosse ever be considered big time without them?

Ever since I began covering recruiting on a regular basis back in 2010, I’ve prided myself on being camped out on the sidelines all summer just as much as the Top 25 college coaches. In the summer of 2015, I attended tons of recruiting events all over the country, spending upwards of 150 hours eyeballing the up and coming talent in lacrosse.

To make sure I’m on the right track in the midst of ranking Top 25’s and Top 50’s, all of the names in consideration then get bounced off of numerous Division I coaches, who all have varying opinions. It’s important to balance in-person scouting with those opinions and plenty of tape, in addition to a few dozen games from the spring high school season.

It’s never going to be perfect. Just like collegiate programs want to hit on 50 percent of their recruits, that’s about the goal on my end as well. It’s hard to predict what a 14 to 18-year-old will do in the next four years.

There are going to be plenty of hits and plenty of misses. There are too many variables for there not to be, things that aren’t in my control – is the school the right fit? Does the kid put in the extra hours on the wall, shooting on the turf or spending time in the weight room? How’s the rest of the recruiting class? Maybe he’s too into getting after it on the weekends and not enough about working hard, becoming complacent after committing or achieving a high ranking. Call it a guessing game if you so please, but the attention to detail, hours on the fields, phone calls and texts to college and high school coaches are plentiful.

Over the next few months (and years), the rankings that you’re used to will expand. It won’t just be about a spot because how much of a difference between the No. 41 and No. 42 really exists? Starting in the late summer of 2015, I started to roll out 5-star listings to over 50 athletes between the junior and senior classes, a billing that begins after players complete their sophomore seasons.

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