What to Know Ahead of National Signing Day 2021

(Photo Courtesy of Georgetown Athletics)

*Note: All rankings mention in this article are via Inside Lacrosse. Links to those full team and player rankings exist throughout the article.*

Wednesday marks National Signing Day for the class of 2022 as seniors will be able to put pen to paper and make their college decisions official.

According to Inside Lacrosse, Virginia holds the top-ranked class while Maryland, Georgetown, Duke, and North Carolina follow to round out the top 10. With the exception of Georgetown, who was a quarterfinalist last season, each of those teams made a Championship Weekend appearance this past season. Virginia won the national title and Maryland was the runner-up.

Storylines From The 2022 Cycle

Powers Pull Off Big Flips

Since late June, there has been a consistent stream of Big Ten, ACC, and Ivy League programs, as well as a few big East schools pulling off a number of big time flips. In total, there have been 20 players flip their commitments to an ACC, Big Ten, or Ivy since June 30th.

The team who has been most active in this department has been the Penn State Nittany Lions. Their current class of 12 commits includes four players who were originally committed elsewhere and decided to join the Nittany Lions over the summer. Defenseman/lLSM Ryan O’Connor (Springfield, Pa.) and midfielder Ben Spinelli (Taft, Conn.) were the first summer flips for the Nittany Lions and two of the most notable. O’Connor was previously committed to Villanova and Spinelli was previous committed to Notre Dame, and Brown before that.

Last month, Brown, Georgetown, and Maryland have all landed big time flips. Salisbury (Conn.) defenseman Trey Taylor flipped from Army West Point to Brown in early October while Blessed Trinity (Ga.) faceoff man Wilson Van Buren switched his commitment from Dartmouth to Georgetown just a week later. Maryland grabbed midfielder Aiden Aitken (Salisbury, Conn.) from Denver.

Changes at Syracuse

The Orange made noise last September when the top-rated player in the class, attackman Joey Spallina (Mount Sinai, N.Y.), chose Syracuse. Since then a lot has changed with the historic power as John Desko retired following a season filled with off-field drama regarding star player Chase Scanlan, and all-time great Gary Gait moved from his position as women’s head coach to take over the program. He then brought in legendary former Johns Hopkins player and coach Dave Pietramala to be the Orange’s defensive coordinator.

Syracuse did see some players leave the class with defenseman Zach Friedman (Ralston Valley, Colo.) flipping to Princeton and Oxbridge (Fla.) defenseman George Wandoff switching to Brown. However, despite those moves, this 2022 Syracuse class has remained unchanged since last fall and has even added a few pieces since Gait’s hiring with St. John’s (D.C.) defenseman Riley Figueiras flipping to the Orange from Rutgers and Everest Academy (Ont.) attackman Finlay Thompson switching from Michigan to Syracuse over the past few months.

Georgetown Shines Bright

The three-time Big East champions might not have gained as much hype as the likes of Syracuse and others 14 months ago when the contact period first opened up for 2022s, but Kevin Warne and the Georgetown Hoyas are ending the cycle with one of the best and most stacked classes. Calvert Hall (Md.) midfielder Jordan Wray and Brunswick (Conn.) attackman Henry Caponiti highlight the offensive-heavy class as five-stars, per Inside Lacrosse. Landing Van Buren late gave the Hoyas an extra cherry on top of what is a very talented class.

Richmond Rising

Dan Chemotti and the Richmond Spiders have asserted themselves as the top program in the SoCon for multiple years now. The Spiders have turned that success on the field into success on the recruiting trail, and that is especially true in the class of 2022. In August, Tabor Academy (Mass.) attackman Aidan O’Neil switched his commitment from Utah to the Spiders, becoming the second IL four-star player to commit to the SoCon power this cycle along with Patriot (Va.) LSM Aidan Fairchild. The two highlight a class ranked 19th nationally by Inside Lacrosse.

Joe Amplo, Navy Continue to Impress

The Navy Midshipmen brought in one of the best freshman classes in college lacrosse last season, and bring in another good one this fall. Well, that trend looks to continue next year as well with the Midshipmen having yet again another stacked class in the 2022 cycle. A pair of St. John’s (D.C.) offensive weapons in midfielder Paul Garza and attackman Mac Haley are just a few of the headlining names of this class, along with a pair of LSMs in Aidan Hurdle (McDonogh, Md.) and Sean Gallagher (Garnet Valley, Pa.).

How First-Year Head Coaches Have Fared

Including JL Reppert, who took over at Holy Cross in January, there have been three head coaching changes this year. The two being Andrew McMinn leaving Robert Morris to take the head coaching job at Utah and former UMass assistant Craig McDonald taking filling the open job left by McMinn’s departure.

Reppert has had the most time on the job and tasked with doing the most on the recruiting trail this cycle with zero 2022s committed when he took over. The Crusaders now have an 11-man class that is highlighted by St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) faceoff man Jordan Naso. The younger brother of Duke’s Jake Naso, the faceoff man originally verbaleed to Air Force last December before flipping to Holy Cross in August.

McMinn inherited a solid 2022 class from the previous staff upon his arrival in Salt Lake City and has continued to add to it during his first few months on the job. That includes brining three former Robert Morris commits with him in Columbus Academy (Ohio) attackman Zach White, Farmington (Minn.) faceoff man Tyler Kloeckl, and Corner Canyon (Utah) defenseman Trace White.

On the opposite side, McDonald hasn’t added any commits in the class since arriving in Moon Township and inherited a class that has seen four players, including the three aforementioned flips to Utah, go elsewhere. The fourth player is Islip (N.Y.) LSM Thomas Andria who has flipped to Quinnipiac.

Names to Know

Outside of the players already mentioned in this article, here some other named to know in the class of 2022.

Thomas Ricciardelli, Goalie, Taft (Conn.) – Notre Dame

Originally a Penn commit along with his older brother, Jeffery, who is a freshman for the Irish, flipped their commitments last December. Rated as a five-star by Inside Lacrosse, he has proven to be one of the most reliable goalies in high school lacrosse and looks to have all the tools to be successful at the next level. He anchored a highly-talented defense last season for a Taft team that won the GEICO High School Nationals.

Sean Jordan, LSM, St. Andrew’s (Fla.) – Harvard

The best player from below the South in the class, defensive guru Gerry Byrne and that Harvard staff is going to have a lot of fun with Jordan once he gets on campus. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Jared Conners, Jordan is downright dangerous in a multitude of ways on defense and has the ability to kill you in transition. A prototypical modern LSM, he might just be the best Swiss Army Knife-type player in the entire class. He helped lead St. Andrew’s to an undefeated state championship season last spring.

Dom Pietramala, Attack, Boy’s Latin (Md.) – North Carolina

The son of a Johns Hopkins legend and current Syracuse defensive coordinator, Pietramala and his twin brother Nick (Defense), will be heading to Chapel Hill to play for Joe Breschi and the North Carolina Tar Heels. Ranked as the No. 2 player in the class by Inside Lacrosse, the lefty has been somewhat in the spotlight for quite sometime and has shown to live up to the hype, not only proving to be an elite shooter but also to be a strong dodger and often displaying a high-level of IQ.

Mac Eldridge, Faceoff, Georgetown Prep (Md.) – Virginia

Heralded as the top faceoff man in the class, Eldridge could be the next great faceoff man for Lars Tiffany and the Virginia Cavaliers. The 6-foot, 190-pound senior is not only great at winning the clamp and get those offensive exits to jump start an offense, but he can be dangerous himself on that end of the field.

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