I’m always looking for high school level highlight tapes where I am convinced that the player in question has a solid future in the college game. The player doesn’t have to be a top 10 D1 lock to get noticed, but they do have to do something special, like show an uncanny ability to finish, a high IQ for their age, a great set of defensive checks, or a goalie who shines.
In Foster Cuomo, a Canadian 2015 who plays for Edge Canada, I’m pretty sure I’ve found a ball handler, a finisher, and a player with a good IQ. But I’m also thinking Foster could be a LOCK to see success at the next level, assuming he keeps working at it, of course. He’s not the biggest or fastest player on the field, but he’s got “it”, in my opinion. So what is “it”?
Cuomo, like many of the other kids I’ve shown before, does a couple of things very well: he finishes in tight, dodges well, and keeps his head up, looking for open teammates and opportunity. He has a strong sense of the game, and when you learn he plays for the Hill Academy, any shock disappears immediately.
But what stands out the MOST for Foster? What makes me think that this 2015 Canadian offensive player definitely has what it takes?
It’s a little thing actually, and it mostly has to do with Cuomo’s style of dodging.
Many players in today’s game want to run by, or around, their defender. Many top recruits show an ability to generate space with speed or size, and they then unleash a powerful rip on the run, unmolested. Cuomo does things a little differently. On many of his dodges, Foster gets in tight on his defender, instead of trying to beat them wide. He shows great patience, and waits for the pole to throw a check, or get out of position. Cuomo then does a great job of using his body to a) protect his stick, and b) generate space and positioning advantages.
He isn’t just running away from the competition. He is engaging them, maintaining possession, creating an advantage, and then playing off of that new set up. It leads to goals, assists, and creates havoc nicely. The more I watch it, the more impressed I am. The portion of ground balls is also awesome to see, and not just because Cuomo wins the ones in the video. It’s more than that… it’s the WAY Cuomo goes after the GBs. He goes hard. I love that.
It’s clear that Foster Cuomo has handle, passion, and ability, but his strongest traits are his play in tight, how hard he goes on loosies, and his ability to make something happen from just a small mistake. That’s the kind of talent that can continue to grow and improve, especially at the collegiate level.
While we can tell quite a bit about Cuomo’s game from his video, recruiting is so much more than that for college coaches. Foster seems like a good teammate as he celebrates with teammates, and acts like he’s done this all before. But without knowing him, it’s impossible to say how he’ll fit in on a potential college team. I have no doubts that Foster Cuomo is a great kid, but there are a lot of things that tape does NOT show. If you’re recruiting, or being recruited, keep that in mind!