Editor’s note: Bennett Conlin of The Daily Progress reports on Connor Shellenberger’s time at University of Virginia. Shellenberger was the No. 1 recruit in the country last year.
Connor Shellenberger didn’t just star at St. Anne’s-Belfield, he became the No. 1 men’s lacrosse recruit in the country.
With nearly every program in the country clamoring for his services, the Charlottesville native opted to stay home and join Virginia, the reigning national champion.
Many of the top recruits in the nation saw action right away. Nolan Smith, a top college football recruit, saw action in 14 games for Georgia. James Wiseman, the No. 1 men’s basketball recruit, saw action for Memphis before NCAA violations kept him off the court and he turned his attention toward the NBA Draft.
The No. 2 recruit in men’s basketball, Cole Anthony, was North Carolina’s best scorer this season. Many of the top baseball recruits ultimately turned professional.
Shellenberger, on the other hand, didn’t take the field in a game for the UVa men’s lacrosse team and was expected to redshirt, barring any major injuries.
With a loaded roster, the prized recruit was set to wait a season before taking the field. With the shortened season due to the spread of the coronavirus, spring athletes are getting eligibility relief from the NCAA, which means Shellenberger’s wait to take the field could be extended if star seniors elect to return.
He’s prepared for that.
It sounds cliché, it sounds cheesy, but it’s really whatever is best for the team, whatever is best for the long-term sight of the program. It’s whatever it takes. I’m in no rush.
Growing up in Charlottesville, Shellenberger wanted to play for UVa. He went to games at Klöckner Stadium as a kid and remembers watching the Cavaliers as often as he could.
Johns Hopkins earned Shellenberger’s verbal commitment in high school before he eventually thought more about the decision and opted to join UVa. Through one fall and a shortened spring season, he feels like he made the right choice.
It was everything that you could dream up, to be honest. It’s such a good team atmosphere. The coaches, the players, our captains, our leaders, everybody does such a great job of including everyone.
Staying in Charlottesville also meant remaining close to family, which impacted Shellenberger’s decision to play for his hometown university.