(Photo Courtesy of Colgate Athletics)
Powerhouses such as Duke and Maryland get a ton of love on national signing day, routinely churning out top-tier classes. However, there are many other programs, including some in power conferences, that don’t always recruit at the absolute highest level but put at times put together some really good classes.
In this article, I take a look at five classes that could end up being very impactful but haven’t necessarily gotten as much hype or buzz as some others.
Some would say every program is just a recruiting class or two away from a special season. That could very well be true with the Colgate Raiders given the successes Matt Karweck has had on the trail since his arrival and especially in this 2022 class, which might just be the most national of the cycle as nine states and one Canadian province are represented. Bellevue (Wash.) SSDM Wiley Bryant is the most intriguing get for the Raiders this cycle as he not only has the speed and strength to translate to the college game, but plays with grit and routinely makes those thankless but important plays both on defense and on the faceoff wings. Paired alongside defensemen Rocco Schramm (Monte Vista, Calif.) and William Rose (Seton Hall Prep, N.J.), as well as others, this is a very strong defensive group.
Council Rock North (Pa.) midfielder Dean Scalamandre headlines the offensive group as an athletic shooter with a huge first step who can absolute sling it from outside. Joined by two other strong, athletic midfielders in Charlie Lohman (Blessed Trinity, Ga.) and Miller Marks (Austin, Texas) the Raiders have gathered one heck of a midfield unit with this class to highlight this group of offensive gets.
Charlie Toomey has picked one of the deepest and most talented groups in the nation, especially on the offensive end with eight of their 11-man class playing on that end of the field. Hugh Brown (McDonogh, Md.), Brady West (South Side, N.Y.), and Bobby Marlatt (Collegiate, Va.) form a dangerous trio of athletic midfielders who highlight this class while Luke Murphy (Medfield, Mass.) and Will McCulloch (St. Stephens & St. Agnes, D.C.) give the Greyhounds a dynamic duo at the attack spot. The core group of offensive weapons assembled in this class has the potential to make an immediate impact upon stepping foot on the Ridley Athletic Complex.
Defenseman Dylan LeBlanc (Manasquan, N.J.) headlines a three-man defensive group in this class. Active off-ball, good off the ground, and a solid one-on-one defender, LeBlanc brings a very well-rounded skillset to this Loyola program. St. Paul’s (Md.) goalie Max Watkinson and Brewster Academy (Maine) LSM Chase Gregory are the only two other players in the class on the defensive end.
The Mountaineers came into the month of June with only two commitments, but in the months that followed no program has been one of the most active teams on the trail as Tom Gravante and his staff have been able to stack what could be the best class in the NEC of the cycle. Midfielder Chase Cavalier (St. John’s, D.C.) is the headliner of the class as a player who exhibits a unique skillset, being a very good feeder from the midfield while also not afraid to get into those dirty areas of the field and showcasing a fair amount of grit as a defender when needed. He joins a pair of high school teammates, Kevin Whitty (midfield) and Jack Pilla (attack), in the class that is full of offensive talent with eight players committed on that end.
Goalie Owen Peters (Bethel Park, Pa.), defensemen Kyle Baxter (Canterbury, Fla.), Grant Catello (Paul VI, Va.), Nate Levicki (Broadneck, Md.), and LSM Jacob Coldwell (Loyola, Ill.) form the defensive makeup of this class. The trio of poles provides a solid mix of size and skill, especially on-ball. Peters has shown to be show-stopping keeper at the high school level, especially against close-range shots, and could translate to the NEC very quickly.
Shawn Nadelen pulled off a huge in-state win in the 2022 cycle, landing Archbishop Spalding (Md.) midfielder Michael Weisshaar. The electric playmaker won the C. Markland Kelly Award last season given out by the Maryland Lacrosse Coaches Association for the best high school lacrosse player in the state of Maryland. The lefty not only poses a threat on the offensive end in numerous ways, but can also cross the midline and wreak havoc as a defensive midfielder if needed. And while he’s the highlight of this class to be sure, the Tigers have further padded this class with a plethora of talent all around as well.
Weisshaar’s high school teammate, Ryan Schrier, helps fill out the rest of that offensive group along with fellow attackman Alex Roussel (Hill Academy, Ont.) among multiple others. Catonsville (Md.) defenseman Jams Azbill and goalie Matthew Nilan (Bayport Blue Point, N.Y.) are the only two defensive pickups in the class while there are two faceoff guys in Joseph Meidling (Notre Dame, N.J.) and Rocco Mareno (Burnt Hills Ballston Lake Senior, N.Y.).
The Wildcats have had some pretty good defenses in recent years and if the 2022 cycle is any indicator, that could very well be the trend at Villanova for multiple years to come with as much defensive talent this class has. Cardinal Cushing (Mass.) LSM Benjamin Baroni, Darien (Conn.) defenseman David Evanchick, and Deerfield (Mass.) defenseman Tate Seeman is one heck of a group of poles with a wide range of skillsets that could very well allow any one of those three to get an opportunity to showcase their talents early. Goalie Anthony Wilson (McDonogh, Md.) has the right size at 6-foot-3, 195-pounds and when he get hot can be one of the most prolific keepers in high school lacrosse.
Corona Del Mar (Calif.) attackman Lucas Newton is the headliner of this offensive group for the Wildcats while Colin Michener (William Penn Charter, Pa.) and David Link (Delbarton, N.J.) are also very solid gets at the position. Collegiate (Va.) James Beeghly is an intriguing prospect with the speed he brings to the table, and the potential he could have once getting into a college weight room and building out his frame. Along with Luke Williams (St. Ignatius Prep, Calif.) and Matthew Waterhouse (Briarcliff, N.Y.) the Wildcats could have a solid midfield trio on their hands.