Tillman, Maryland Finding Success in Wake of Lost Season

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics)

Even with the college lacrosse season being cut short due to the Coronavirus outbreak, Maryland head coach John Tillman appears to still be playing chess while a majority of everyone else is still playing checkers.

The Terrapins’ hot streak started on April 1st when it was announced that Calvert Hall (Md.) senior attackman Daniel Kelly, who had originally verbaled to North Carolina in 2016 prior to the recruiting rules changes, announced his commitment to the Terrapins.

Rated as the No. 11 player in the 2020 class by Inside Lacrosse, Kelly is the second attackman in the Terps’ 2020 class, joining Woodward Academy (Ga.) product Eric Malver. In total, Maryland’s 2020 class now boasts eight players ranked in Inside Lacrosse’s Top-100.

Kelly helped lead Calvert Hall to their third consecutive MIAA “A” Conference title last season as a junior. The attackman put up 75 points (43G/32A). The lefty is an elite shooter and electric finisher. He should be able to, at least, vie for a starting spot day one in College Park.
But the commitment of Kelly was just the start of the impressive roll that the Terps are on.

The following week, 2021 St. Mary’s (Md.) defenseman Colin Burlace flipped his commitment from Yale to Maryland. The long, athletic defenseman has shown much promise, thus far, and could be an elite defenseman at Maryland. Burlace is currently ranked as the No. 30 player in the class of 2021, according to Inside Lacrosse.

Burlace flipping his commitment from Yale to Maryland came just one day prior to a report surfacing that the elder Burlace brother, BJ, who is a freshman LSM/defenseman at Yale, had entered the NCAA Transfer Portal.

And while many could read the tea leaves and see that Maryland was the likely landing spot for BJ Burlace, it was officially reported that he would be joining the Terps on the afternoon of April 13th.

The St. Mary’s (Md.) product and former Under Armour All-American, did not see any playing time as a freshman at Yale. However, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound LSM/D recorded 12 goals, eight assists, 24 caused turnovers, and 69 ground balls as a senior in high school.

A caused turnover machine and transition junkie, Burlace joins an LSM group that currently features freshman Justin Sherrer, sophomore Michael Ubriaco, and freshman Connor Whalen. Sherrer was the Terps’ main LSM this season, recording four caused turnovers and six ground balls. Ubriaco, who transferred in after a great freshman season at Villanova in 2019, was out with an injury this past season. Whalen only appeared in one game.

Burlace’s skillset as an aggressive defender and an offensive threat should translate well on the field at Maryland. Burlace can be a spark plug for the Terps offense in transition. His career in College Park could very well pan out similarly to that of Matt Neufeldt’s, who was an LSM for the Terps from 2015-2018. Of course, if needed, Burlace could get bumped down to close defense at Maryland. He has the make of a typical Maryland defenseman with his size, strength, toughness, and he moves very well.

With these recent additions and the current players that will for sure be back in 2021, the Terrapins certainly have enough pieces to possibly make another Championship Weekend run and continue to have the success they have enjoyed over the past decade.

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