When you look up past rosters for the Bellarmine Knights Canadians fill the page and you find a few American players scattered around. Players like Dillon Ward, Shawn Evans, Kyle Sorenson, and Taylor Stuart all played at Bellarmine before moving on to being great players in the NLL.
The Bellarmine Knights were built off of Canadian imports such as those guys mentioned above, as well as others. Bellarmine actually has had the most Canadian players amongst college lacrosse teams in the NCAA, 20 of which have played or are currently playing in the NLL.
While the Knights still grab talent north of the border each year, five on the 2019 roster, another pipeline is starting to emerge as first year head coach Jim Mitchell and his staff have started to grab more and more players from Georgia.
Currently there are just two players from Georgia on the Knights 2019 roster, sophomore midfielder Trent Thomas and senior attackman/midfielder Ian Miller.
Bellarmine has eight players signed in the 2019 recruiting class. Out of those eight players two are from Atlanta area, attackman Benjamin O’Rourk and attackman Preston Rhodes. O’Rourk has been committed since 2017 and assistant coach Stephen Soriano was the main coach who recruited him. Rhodes committed this fall after Mitchell was hired at Bellarmine.
In the 2020 recruiting class Bellarmine has two players committed so far and both are from Georgia and committed back in December.
North Atlanta (GA)/LB3 – 2020 defenseman Tommy Fialkowski and Walton (GA)/Thunder LB3 – 2020 midfielder Tate Harran are the two players currently committed to Bellarmine in the 2020 class. Both players committed to Bellarmine while having reported offers or interest from schools such as Jacksonville, Richmond, North Carolina, Marquette, and others.
Since Jim Mitchell arrived at Bellarmine over the summer the Knights have gotten six combined commitments in the 2019 and 2020 classes and had only one player decommit. Eight of those six commitments came from players that are from Georgia.
One of the big things to note is that Mitchell is getting players that may have not come to Bellarmine in the past. Under the past two regimes Bellarmine was a mere afterthought for most high school players. Some players that played at Bellarmine claimed they had never even heard of the school until they got an offer.
It’s good to note that some of those players ended up being pretty darn good in a Knights uniform as well.
Mitchell is changing the recruiting landscape at Bellarmine and it seems to be paying off at the moment. I’ve seen kids tweet graphics of their commitments and there is now the hashtag #SwingYourSword that has been use in recruiting with the Knights. It’s a whole new shakeup that has more of an Ohio State, or should I say Rutgers feel as Mitchell does come over to Bellarmime after being an assistant at Rutgers.
While the number of Canadians that have played at Bellarmine will always be something Bellarmine fans can brag about, there has been a new flag planted down south in the Peach State.
As the season gets underway the recruiting usually slows down, but don’t be surprised if you see more players in the 2020 class commit to Bellarmine.