Recruiting Notebook: Winners From The First Month of The Contact Period

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics)

It has been one month since September 1st, which marked the opening of the contact period between 2024’s and college coaches (outside of the service academies who could start contacting players on July 1st). And at the time of writing this, 202 players have made commitments since that Sept. 1 date, according to the Lacrosse Bucket Recruiting Database.

While it’s only been a month, multiple schools have been able to assert themselves ahead of the pack.

Here is a look at a few of those winners from the first month of recruitment for 2024s:

Virginia Cavaliers

In terms of the single biggest winner of September, the Virginia Cavaliers take the cake by a country mile. Through the first month of the contact period, Lars Tiffany and the Cavaliers have picked up seven commitments. The class is headlined by the offensive trio of Ryan Duenkel (St. John’s, D.C.), Kyle Colsey (Ridgefield, Conn.), and Sean Browne (Episcopal Dallas, Texas).

Duenkel was the first commitment of the cycle for the Cavaliers back on Sept. 4th. Ranked as the No. 1 player in the class by Inside Lacrosse, the elite goal scorer is coming off a spring season in which he put up 80 points off 51 goals and 29 assists while helping the Cadets to a 19-0 season and WCAC title. Colsey, a lefty who is ranked as the No. 4 player in the class by IL, is a proven finisher who tallied 95 points (56G/39A) last spring. The 6-foot-5 Browne is ranked as the No. 17 player in the class by IL and has all the physical attributes to go along with his game, where he presents himself as a strong dodger with a great first step. 56 goals and 40 assists last spring.

Chatham, N.J., midfielder JP Lagunowich is the latest commit and fourth on the offensive end in the class for Virginia. On top of his DI-ready build, the middie has proven to be a great playmaker with the ball in his stick. He had 31 goals last spring.

Daphne (Ala.) goalie Troy Capstraw is one of three defensive commitments for the Cavaliers, along with defensemen Luke Jamin (Rumson Fair Haven, N.J.) and Tommy Snyder (St. Anthony’s, N.Y.).

Maryland Terrapins

After an unbeaten national title run last spring, John Tillman and the Maryland Terrapins have hit the ground running on the recruiting trail in the 2024 cycle. With seven commitments at the time of writing this, the Terrapins class is very much highlighted by what they’ve done on the defensive end thus far with goalie Tyler Coryea (Western Reserve Academy, Ohio) and defensemen Peter Laake (Loyola Blakefield, Md.), and Kyle Eggebraten (Culver, Ind.) all in the class.

The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Coryea isn’ t the biggest, but he has proven his worth time and time again. Coryea shows really good movement in between the pipes, exuberates a ton of energy with his play, and is especially good at savings those low shots. Laake has great size at 6-foot-1, 200-pounds and also knows how to use that to his advantage both on and off-ball. Eggebraten has showcased a ton of versatility and athleticism with his ability to play both LSM and close, and make an impact in almost all facets of the game as a pole.

Maryland has also picked up a pair of highly-regarded offensive weapons with a pair of attackmen in Spencer Ford (Boy’s Latin, Md.) and Johnny Gardiner (Gonzaga, D.C.) both having verbaled to the Terps. Ford, who is ranked as the No. 5 player in the class by Inside Lacrosse, is an extremely smart offensive playmaker and coming off a 70-point sophomore campaign. Gardiner is an incredible shooter and coming off a spring season in which he put up 41 goals and 17 assists.

St. John’s (D.C.) John Draley and Ridgewood (N.J.) midfielder Jack Schultz have also verbaled to the Terps over the past month.

Duke Blue Devils

Compared to its ACC foes, Duke has a much smaller class at this point with just four commitments through September. However, those four help create a pretty strong class at the moment.

Headlining this Duke class is Haverford (Pa.) faceoff man Ben McCarthy. Widely seen as the best faceoff man in the class, McCarthy is ranked as the No. 3 overall junior by Inside Lacrosse. McCarthy helped the Fords to an Inter-AC title game appearance as the team’s top faceoff man in 2022. The 6-foot, 170-pound faceoff man dominants nearly every time out and often does so both at the dot and with his ability to help get the offense started, or even take it to the rack himself.

Attackman Liam Kershis (Shoreham-Wading River, N.Y.) and defenseman Luke Hublitz (Brunswick, Conn.) are also big gets for the Blue Devils. Both are five-stars and top-20 players in the class, per IL. Kershis is a quick and athletic attackman who plays a smooth game and be a problem for any opposing defense as both an offensive weapon and on the ride. Hublitz has great size at 6-foot-3, 160-pounds. On top of that, he is a relentless on-ball defender, makes timely slides, and can also be an impact in transition.

Harvard Crimson

The best class in the Ivy League is arguably held by Gerry Byrne and the Harvard Crimson at the moment. With five commitments thus far, the defensive-heavy class is headlined by Pingry (N.J.) goalie Graham Stevens and Culver (Ind.) defenseman Nikolas Menendez.

Another heralded shot-stopper in the vaunted ’24 goalie class, Stevens posted 69% save percentage last spring and has shown an impressive ability to use his long, 6-foot-2 frame to fill up the cage and make those eye-popping saves on a regular basis. Menendez is a 6-foot-1 Illinois native and one of the most well-rounded poles of the cycle. He has great instincts and a very high IQ. He sits well off-ball and is always ready to make the play and is also able to stay on top of his matchup. Both are five-stars, per Inside Lacrosse.

Defenseman Michael Savadove (Radnor, Pa.) has also verbaled to the Crimson over the past month, along with Shady Side Academy (Pa.) attackman Mac Mohn and Sacred Heart Prep (Calif.) midfielder Blake Hetherington.

Brown Bears

Nobody has closed out the month quite like Brown. The Bears have a nine-man 2024 class at the moment and six of those commitments have come over the past week. That includes a trio of midfield commits from Matteo Rottura (Academy of The New Church, Pa.), Hudson Hausmann (Brunswick, Conn.), and Cole Frood (Cannon, N.C.).

Hausmann headlines that midfield group as an explosive and creative dodger who moves smoothly and can give defenses all kinds of trouble. Frood is a tough dodger and versatile all-around playmaker who is coming off a spring season in which he put up 38 goals and 22 assists. Rottura is a two-way threat who played much bigger than his 5-foot-9 frame. Exuberating a good amount of confidence on every play, he knows how to find the back of the net and is also a tough defender on the other end.

Brunswick (Conn.) goalie Tucker Williams headlines the Bears’ defensive haul in the class. Playing a very active style, he is always on locked in and has unbelievably fast hands and reaction time. Williams moves very well in between the pipes and makes impressive save after impressive save.

Notre Dame

Cheshire (Conn.) midfeidler Mathew Jeffrey is the headliner of what has become a very impressive 2024 class for the Irish, especially on the offensive end. Ranked as the No. 2 player of the cycle by Inside Lacrosse, the middie is as electric of a playmaker as they come. Creating offense every time he steps on the field, whether as a shooter or passer, Jeffrey is coming off a 112-point sophomore campaign last spring. Jeffrey is joined the class by fellow Constitution State star in Brady Pokorny (Darien, Conn.). A pure goal-scorer, Pokorny can create for himself and also heavily benefit off-ball.

The pair of highly-regarded Connecticut playmakers help highlight a Notre Dame class with nine commitments thus far.

North Carolina

Cannon (N.C.) attackman Brevin Wilson, who is the younger brother of UNC ’23 goalie commit Brayson Wilson, was the first commit of the class for the Tar Heels back on September fifth. Since, Joe Breschi’s program has only added more firepower in the class with middies Luke Macaluso (Culver, Ind.) and Caden Harshbarger (Lake Mary, Fla.) verbaling last weekend.

North Carolina added three more commitments this week in the forms of Chaminade (N.Y.) defenseman Ben Fox, Boy’s Latin (Md.) faceoff man Parker Hoffman, and Culver (Ind.) midfielder Mason Szewczyk. The trio of commits helps the Tar Heels finish the month strong and brings the class to eight commitments.

Other September Winners

Princeton

Georgetown

Syracuse

Boston U.

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