High School

Two Thoughts on Freshmen Giving Verbals

NXT Senior Freshman Showcase

Editor’s Note: Please welcome Peter Tumbas back to LAS! PT has been all over the place this year and has checked out a ton of events, many of them with a recruiting twist. Today he gives his two cents on early recruiting for college, specifically focused on Freshman making verbal commitments to D1 programs.

Two Thoughts on Freshmen Giving Verbals

1) LSU football accepted a verbal from a 9th grader recently. SEC football is kind of a big deal. If early commits make sense for D1 football, why wouldn’t it make sense for a lacrosse team? I’ve yet to hear a truly compelling argument for why this doesn’t hold true. Why can’t a 2017 commit to play lacrosse at UNC like David Piazza just did?

2) What’s the worst that can happen for these kids? They are teased a little bit by their older teammates who haven’t committed yet. They are teased when they don’t score on a 1v1 with a goalie. They might be targeted a little bit sooner by the opposition. If they hold up their end of the bargain academically and don’t get in trouble with the law, they’re going to the school they verbally committed to as freshmen. Wouldn’t you trade a little bit of heckling to be a D1 commit?

Of course, these freshmen could always change their mind in a year or three. It’s a non-binding agreement, after all.

What will be truly interesting about the lacrosse recruiting realm will be how long the current gentlemen’s agreement amongst coaches remains intact. Did you read that LSU article closely?

Saban — and every other head coach in the country — now has four whole years to persuade Moses not to stay home for his college career.

When D1 lacrosse coaches start disregarding verbal commits to other schools and continue to recruit kids until their name is signed in goat’s blood on a NLI, that’s when things will get super interesting. Perhaps that will also be the same time that college lacrosse becomes as big of a business as collegiate hoops and football.

D1 coaches are discussing early recruiting this week and weekend around the IMLCA Convention, so more news is sure to surface in the coming week on where lacrosse stands with this issue. Then the question becomes, can NCAA lacrosse coaches do anything about it? The NCAA creates the rules, and without a push from basketball and football coaches, it seems unlikely that much will change when it comes to early recruiting. However, with the IMLCA now getting into recruiting events, there could be a more concentrated push, so maybe we will see something come out of all this after all.

Stay tuned for more…

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About the author

Peter Tumbas

Peter Tumbas played in the NCAA and MCLA, and has been a head coach in the MCLA. He currently resides in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA and remains heavily involved in the sport.

1 Comment

  • “2) The worst that can happen…?” They can wind up at a school that is a terrible fit for them academically, socially and even athletically. Some 9th graders absolutely may know what they want from a school and education. I can promise you the majority do not. Transfer rates (and graduation rates) at colleges are terrible largely because even seniors have a hard time knowing what to expect at the next level. This is only magnified by those in athletics or if they’re the first in their family or group of friends to do so. I’m also a firm believer that you can go to school for a sport. It may not be your major, but it’s just as valuable as any class if you plan on dedicating your life to that sport afterwards. How many players have gone to play under a Boeheim, Coach K, Nick Saban or (bad analogy perhaps) Paterno just so they can learn from them and are able to transition into coaching afterwards? With little money to be made in post-grad lacrosse and tuition outpacing inflation by more than 3:1, you need to choose a college that fits you as a person first and an athlete second. A 14 year old may be able to do that, but it’s certainly the exception and not, or should it ever be, the norm.

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