(Photo Courtesy of Princeton Athletics)
Wednesday marks national signing day for the class of 2023 as seniors will be able to put pen to paper for the first time and make their college decisions official.
Here’s a look at some of the top storylines and notes from the 2023 class ahead of Wednesday:
The Ivy League had one of its best seasons ever last spring with six of its seven teams making the NCAA Tournament and two (Cornell, Princeton) making it to Championship Weekend. Cornell was playing on Memorial Day in the national championship. But it hasn’t just been success on the field that the league and its teams have enjoyed. The Ivy has also seen some of its programs dominate recruiting landscape over the last few cycle.
Per Inside Lacrosse, Princeton, Cornell, and Penn all have top-10 classes in the 2023 cycle with the Tigers and Big Red ranking in the top three.
Princeton has put together an 11-man class that is headlined by a pair of high school teammates in Georgetown Prep (Md.) attackmen Nate Kabiri and Colin Burns. Kabiri, who is ranked as the No. 9 player in the class by Inside Lacrosse, was initially committed to Georgetown before decommitting from the Hoyas and deciding on the Tigers in the spring. Kabiri (59G/29A) and Burns (35G/41A) combined for 165 points for the IAC runner-up last spring. The pair of attackman are two of three Inside Lacrosse five-stars headed to Princeton in the class, along with midfielder Tucker Wade (Bullis, Md.) who highlights an impressive midfield haul for the Tigers.
With 13 players in the boat, Cornell‘s 2023 class is headlined midfielder AJ Nikolic (Malvern Prep, Pa.) who is rated as a five-star by Inside Lacrosse and ranked as the No. 15 player in the class. The tough and crafty middie put up 45 goals and 35 assists last spring while helping the Friars to an Inter-AC title. Cornell’s two highest rated defensive commits flipped into the class with LSM Walker Schwartz (Germantown Academy, Pa.) initially committed to Villanova and defenseman Ike Lohnes (St. Albans, D.C.) having switched from Michigan.
The 2023 class for Penn is headlined by its impressive midfield haul. Mike Murphy’s programs has landed three of the best midfielders in the class with Leo Hoffman (Brunswick, Conn.), Ben Beacham (La Costa Canyon, Calif.), and Jacob Pacheco (Boy’s Latin, Md.) all choosing the Quakers last fall. Hoffman headlines the group as the No. 3 player in the class, per Inside Lacrosse. On the smaller side in some respects, Hoffman is a relentless playmaker and explosive dodger who helped lead his Brunswick team to a Prep Nationals championship last spring.
McCabe Millon to Virginia
Arguably the biggest story of the 2023 recruiting cycle went down in early September as McDonogh (Md.) attackman McCabe Millon announced that he had flipped his commitment from Duke to Virginia. Millon is ranked as the No. 1 player in the 2023 class by Inside Lacrosse and coming off a junior season this past spring in which he put up 50 goals and 28 assists while helping the Eagles to an MIAA title.
Million is one of three players to flip into the Virginia 2023 class class along with Bullis (Md.) attackman Chase Band and Rye (N.Y.) midfielder Kian McCarthy. Band flipped to the Cavaliers from Ohio State while McCarthy did so from Penn State.
Penn State, Ohio State Headline Big Ten Winners
Two of the top classes in the Big Ten thus cycle are held by Penn State and Ohio State.
Jeff Tambroni and the Nittany Lions have put together an 11-man 2023 class headlined by arguably the top recruit out of the Keystone State in Wissahickon (Pa.) attackman Kyle Lehman. He is rated as the No. 5 player in the class by Inside Lacrosse. Penn State was the beneficiary of a big flip back in July as St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) midfielder Joseph Calandrino switched his commitment to the Nittany Lions from Maryland. He joins high school teammates Jaden Jenkins (D) and Patrick Carragher (A) in the class.
Ohio State has been one of the most fluctuating classes this cycle with five players leaving the class and four players flipping in since April. All four of those flips came from players hailing from Avon Old Farms (Conn.) or Western Reserve Academy (Ohio). Winged Beaver teammates Zach Hepworth (FO) and Ellis McDonald (D) flipped from Providence. Midfielders Alex Dixon, who flipped from Utah, and Owen Fischer transferred to WRA over the summer and are now in the Buckeyes’ class. The Buckeyes have a 12-man class with St. John’s (D.C.) goalie Caleb Fyock as its headliner. The goalie ranked as the No. 14 player in the class by Inside Lacrosse and highlights a solid defensive haul by the Buckeyes, along with Western Reserve Academy (Ohio) LSM/D Aidan Aiden Bodonyi and Boy’s Latin (Md.) defenseman Kyle Foster.
Duke Continues to Dominate
As usual, one of the biggest winners on the recruiting trail this cycle is the Duke Blue Devils. And despite losing McCabe Million earlier this year, John Danowski and company still hold what is currently ranked as the No. 1 class in the cycle, per Inside Lacrosse.
Duke’s eight-man 2023 class is headlined by an impressive midfield haul with Benn Johnston (Avon Old Farms, Conn.) and Thomas Delgado (Brunswick, Conn.) being the stars of that four-man group at the position. Johnston exhibits ideal DI size and is a lethal shooter. Delgado is the next in a long line of big, fast, and strong midfielders out of ‘Wick that can go both ways. Both as top-10 ranked players by IL. Duke picked up one commitment at the position in the last few weeks as Garden City (N.Y.) middie Stevie Finnell flipped from Syracuse in late October.
Georgetown Prep (Md.) LSM Mac Christmas is the top defensive commitment in the class for the Blue Devils. Ranked as the No. 4 player in the nation and rated as a five-star by IL, he has shown to be a ‘Swiss Army Knife’ type player who can make and impact on defense and in transition offense.
How First-Year Head Coaches Have Fared
LIU, Manhattan, NJIT, Providence, St. John’s, and UMass Lowell all went through head coaching changes this summer.
Of the six programs with new head coaches, LIU has seen the most movement among its 2023 class with 22 of its 23 commitments in the class having verbaled after the hiring of Jordan Levine as the Sharks’ head coach.
John Odierna was elevated to head coach of the Manhattan Jaspers on June 20th. All 11 of the Jaspers’ 2023 commits verbaled following the coaching this summer.
Since Eric Wolf took over as the head coach at NJIT on June 24th, the Highlanders have added eight commitments to its 12-man class.
Providence has a 13-man 2023 class and four of those commitments have come since Bobby Benson took over as the Friars’ head coach over the summer. Two players have flipped out of the class in that time, as well.
St. John’s has put together a nine-man 2023 class. Three of those commitments have come since Justin Turri was hired as the Red Storm’s head this summer.
UMass Lowell has an 11-man 2023 class. Since Drew Kelleher took over as head coach this summer, the River Hawks have added eight players in the class.
Three More Names to Know
Outside of the players already mentioned above, here are some players in the 2023 class who’s names you ought to know:
Ty Banks, D/LSM, Western Reserve Academy (Ohio) – Georgetown
Arguably the best and most havoc causing pole in the class, the British Columbia native is a menace on the back end as a defender who can and will dominate his matchup with a physical style of play. Banks is also impressive in the clearing game as well. The pole is ranked No. 7 in the class and rated as a five-star by Inside Lacrosse.
Anderson Moore, G, Briarwood Christian (Ala.) – Georgetown
Hailing from the Heart of Dixie and arguably the best player to ever come out of the state, Moore is one of the most consistently good goalies in the class. The 6-foot shot stopper moves incredibly well in between the pipes, is able to make clean saves on the regular, and is also impactful in the clearing game with beautiful outlet passes. Moore is ranked as the No. 10 player in the class and rated as a five-star by Inside Lacrosse.
Hunter Chauvette, A, Lawrenceville (N.J.) – Yale
One of the headlining pieces of the Bulldogs’ 2023 class, Chauvette is one of the best shooters and has garnered comparisons to former Penn State star and current pro player Mac O’Keefe. Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, the lefty shooter has a beautiful shot and can sting the back of the cage from almost anywhere on the field. He is rated as a four-star and ranked as the No. 17 player in the class by Inside Lacrosse.