Where do Philly’s top men’s incoming freshmen stack up with the top classes in men’s Division i lacrosse this the coming season? While Inside Lacrosse’s recruiting magazine (September issue) took a look at the top groups, we examined the Philly impact.
1. Johns Hopkins:
IL: The Blue Jays have the best class in terms of top-end talent and bench depth.
Philly: Hopkins picks up La Salle’s one-on-one stopper Tucker Durkin, the Phillylacrosse.com Player of the Year; and face-off specialist Grady Stevens (Unionville, First-Team All-Philllyacrosse.com choice).
IL: The Cavaliers have three immediate impact players on offense led by South Jersey monster middie Chris LaPierre, the MVP of the Under Armour All-American Game from Shawnee High.
IL: Crimson coach John Tillman welcomes his first official recruiting class, which is strong on midfield talent.
Philly: One of those top middies is La Salle’s Peter Schwartz, a two-time All-American and All-Phillylacrosse.com First-Team pick.
IL: Consider this the “first half” of the Orange’s 2010 roster refurbishing, complementing a simultaneous wave of JuCo/transfer/redshirt freshmen.
Philly: Goalie Matt Lerman (Episcopal Academy), rated the nation’s seventh best at his position, will be a welcome addition.
5. Notre Dame
IL: Irish pick up speed at midfield to help them compete with new Big East foes Georgetown and Syracuse.
Philly: The defense gets a boost with the addition of Radnor’s Tyler Andersen, a Second-Team All-Philllyacrosse.com pick.
Philly: Long-stick middie Tyler Knarr (La Salle), who showed everyone what he can do when healthy as a dominant force at the Under Armour All-American Game, just needs to stay healthy.
7. North Carolina
IL: A standout rising senior contingent is coming in next year; two (goalie Andrew O’Connell and midfielder Ryan Creighton) of which are also from Malvern Prep.
Philly: Another Friar, attackman Conor Steidle, comes in this year to join last year’s Malvern Prep recruits, Chris Layne and Matt Conte.
IL: This class needs to make an immediate impact at midfield, where some extra legs should help freshen up the veterans during the postseason.
Philly: The magazine specifically mentioned Haverford School’s Dan Wigrizer as a contender for the goalie position. Watch for Malvern Prep’s Billy Conners – also an All-State football quarterback – to get time at any defensive position with his athleticism.
IL: Mentions that this class may not have any game-changers.
Philly: Have you seen La Salle goalie Niko Amato play the past two-and-a-half years while helping his team to state championships and national prestige?
IL: Focuses on a new goalie and offensive prospects.
Philly: The player the magazine may have overlooked the most in its Top 100 rankings could have been Conestoga defenseman Mike Bronzino. Was the unquestioned anchor of a team that beat La Salle once and made it all the way to the state finals with a junior-laden team.
Honorable Mention: Loyola, Ohio State, Princeton, Yale (features Radnor face-off specialist Cole Yeager)