Big Ten Schools Making The Most Headway Since The End of The Recruiting Dead Period

(Ohio State commit Griffin Liedel | Photo: Hudson Lacrosse)

In March of 2020, the NCAA instituted a recruiting dead period across all sports at the DI level that remained in place until the first of June in 2021. That’s a whole 15 months, which included the first nine months of the 2022 cycle, in which recruits couldn’t have any in-person contact with college coaches or take official visits.

Since the dead period has been lifted, many programs have hosted players on campus for visits, coaches have gotten to see and meet players in-person, and as expected, there has been quite a bit of movement both in the 2021 and 2022 classes.

Thus far, the Big Ten has made the biggest splash on the recruiting trail since June 1st with Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State all picking up commitments over the past week and some change.

Ohio State hosted a number of visitors in Columbus since the lifting of the dead period and has since landed commitments from Hudson (Ohio) defenseman Griffin Liedel and Salisbury (Conn.) defenseman Declan Cooke.

Rated as a three-star by Inside Lacrosse, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Liedel helped lead his Hudson team to a 20-2 record and Division I regional runner-up finish while being named first-team All-State, All-Region, All-Midwest, and All-American honors. He was also named an Ohio Defensive Player of The Year.

Cooke, who is a Rhode Island native, helped lead the Crimson Knights to a 7-4 record while serving as one of their top cover guys this past season. The defenseman also considered Denver before pulling the trigger and verbaling to the Buckeyes.

“I was actually able to visit campus a couple days ago and thought it completely opened my eyes,” Cooke told Lacrosse Bucket in a direct message. “Meeting the coaches and being able to see the campus with my own eyes was a great experience.”

Michigan landed a commitment from Fairfield Prep (Conn.) defenseman Mason Whitley, whose brother Jack was a freshman for the Wolverines this past season. A three-star prospect, per Inside Lacrosse, Whitley helped lead the Jesuits to a CIAC Class L Championship game appearance. He will be taking a postgrad year at Taft (Conn.) next year.

Penn State picked up a commitment in the 2021 class with St. Ignatius (Calif.) attackman Nils Berry, who had previously been committed to Bates, announcing that he would be taking his talents to Happy Valley. He is the fifth attackman in a superb class for the Nittany Lions.

Additionally, there has been a decent amount of movement on the recruiting trail outside of the Big Ten as well, and maybe nothing has been as notable then Lakeridge (Ore.) senior midfielder Cody Hart committing to Utah on June 1st after decommitting from Virginia in late May. Hart is rated as a five-star by Inside Lacrosse and helped lead his Lakeridge to a state championship to end his high school career on a high note.

Loyola also landed a late commitment in the 2021 class with Westminster (Ga.) faceoff man Dylan Farley announcing his commitment to the Greyhounds in early June. The All-State and All-American selection decommitted from Harvard in March.

Navy, Bellarmine, and Bryant have both picked up commitments in the 2022 class since June 1st with Georgetown Prep (D.C.) defenseman Sam Muir announcing his commitment to the Midshipmen, Mars (Pa.) attackman Josh Seipp committing to the Knights, and New Trier (Ill.) midfield Johnny Hackett committing to the Bulldogs.

The only decommitment in the 2022 class since the lifting of the dead period came on Friday afternoon when North Cross (Va.) attackman Zane Ratliff announced that he was reopening his recruitment after being committed to VMI since Halloween. He put up 50 points (30G/20A) while helping to lead the Raiders to a VHSL DII state title.

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