All Star Lacrosse

Revisiting our program's 2013 D1 commitments

Our eight D1 commitments by juniors is more than twice as many by this time than ever before...I figure it's a good time to revisit each committed player, shedding light on the process, and giving recognition where its due
One of the special things about the Clam program is that players and parents learn not just from our staff, but from each other. History tends to repeat itself. And with the benefit of years of hindsight, I know there are clear patterns in the recruiting process that repeat time and time again.

And as we've just received word of our 8th junior D1 commitment, I figured it'd be a good time to look back, and tell each 2013 player's abbreviated recruiting tale.

As should go without saying, we congratulate whole-heartedly each of not only our 2013 committed players, but all of our 2012's, and our 2014, as well.

Without any further delay, our 2013 Clam D1 Verbal Commitments, listed chronologically from the first to the most recent...

Nick Desisto, Loyola

Nick was our first 2013, doing so in late June of this past summer. Nick indicated early on that Loyola was his top pick. And because of this, we were able to do some early, targeted outreach for Nick. It certainly didn't hurt that during Nick's sophomore fall, the Loyola staff watched Nick at a number of Clam events and liked what they saw (so did a list of schools that included Duke, Delaware and Princeton). So during Nick's sophomore spring season, Head Coach Charley Toomey travelled up specifically to see Nick play with his high school team; Coach Toomey saw what he needed to see. Nick received his offer before his first summer event, and committed shortly after his first event ended.

Nick Weston, Syracuse
Syracuse logo
Nick Weston, like Nick D. above, knew early on that 'Cuse was where he wanted to go. And as the story goes (and if this is the story, I give Syracuse an awful lot of credit), Nick visited Syracuse before any other schools and told them he wanted to be an Orangeman. But Coach Desko, though very interested, insisted Nick visit at least another college or two before he committed to Syracuse.  Nick then did, but it did nothing to change his dream. And after Nick had a dominant showing at the Maverik Showtime camp in Connecticut, Syracuse - and Nick - could wait no more. Nick committed in mid July, as memory serves either on the final day, or the day after, the Showtime camp concluded.

Johnny McNamara, Loyola

Johnny's process was more circuitous than Nick W. or Nick D.'s. Starting all the way back in the winter of his sophomore year, with serious dialogue with schools that included Penn St. and High Point, Johnny knew he wanted to commit early, and he and his family were prepared to approach the process with a certain level of aggressiveness. And as is often the case, the process through Johnny spring and early summer had its peaks and valleys. When some of the schools he was initially interested in didn't work out, Johnny and our staff had some dialogue about other schools he might be interested in. It was then that Loyola entered the picture. And quickly, we shared with the coaching staff that Johnny was one they should watch. Loyola (and others) liked Johnny at King of the Hill, and apparently liked him even more at the UMBC Shootout. And it was more than just his play they liked at the Shootout; they also liked his energy, charisma and enthusiasm while playing at this camp. And while it took another week or two after the Shootout to get things done, it was just a matter of things falling into place. And fall into place they did, allowing two of our top offensive 2013's the opportunity to play their college ball in the same colors.

Ryan Macri, North Carolina

Over a month passed before our next commitment. And while Ryan and his parents had some dialogue with our staff about his process, we were in some ways less involved in his process than some others. I will say, however, that the Macri family always seemed to have a game plan, and a very good perspective on the process. They seemed never to get too high or too low, and their calm yet steadfast way was indeed an approach others could learn from. In any event, I heard from plenty of coaches about Ryan, who'd noticed him at both Jake Reed's Blue Chip, as well as both the King of the Hill and UMBC Shootout event's with us. And by early September, Ryan had strong interest from a list of schools that included UNC, UVA and Penn State. Ultimately it was September 19th when Ryan committed to become a Tar Heel, interestingly the same day UVA made their own offer to Ryan. But to this day Ryan remains a Tar Heel, and by all indications a proud one.

Matt Ryan, Harvard

It is a real testament to Matt and the Ryan family's patience and thoroughness that Matt was our fifth commitment. Because throughout the summer, and even before it, rarely a day went by when someone didn't text or call me about Matt Ryan. I guess when you end up ranked as the 2nd defenseman and 7th best player in your class, this is understandable. But like I said, Matt and his family had clear goals, and did a phenomenal job of not letting others dictate their pace. They did not want to commit too early. They did not want to be rushed. And because of this, a full half year passed before his first offer (from a very strong school and program), and the school he ultimately settled on. And while there were very few schools I didn't hear from about Matt, it was ultimately the hometown Crimson who obtained his services with a similarly patient recruiting approach.

As refreshing as Matt's handling of the recruitment process was the way he progressed through the program. Starting as a Rising Clam, Matt rose steadily through the ranks, never complaining in the early going when he was among the stronger players on his RC team. Ultimately Matt's rise through our program will stand as a model for how it can go for others, much as his approach to the recruiting stands as a model showing that sometimes a player and his family can dictate how they want the process to go even as everyone around them is urging to go faster, and commit now, now, now... 

Bryan Uva, Providence

It is interesting Bryan's commitment Came after Matt Ryan's, because it many ways it illustrates how there are so many ways a player can end up a D1 commit. In more ways tha one, Bryan's recruitment was almost the opposite of Matt's. Bryan was first noticed by Providence at an event run by Team Central's John Middleton in June that was viewed as prep for summer, and the games little more than scrimmages. Yet coaches are invited, and they do attend in decent numbers.

Coming out of that small, local event, Providence knew they wanted Bryan. And as the summer wore on, and varying levels of interest was shown by a handful of schools, to my knowledge no other school really crossed the threshhold into actionable interest (i.e. made an offer). But there was always Providence, their interest unwavering. And almost a full half year after initially expressing their interest to both the Uva's and our staff, Bryan and his family decided to reward Providence's commitment to Bryan's potential and ability with their own commitment to the Friar program.

Kevin Murphy, Hobart

Kevin's commitment came next. And like Kevin's Brewster teammate Johnny McNamara (above), Kevin has an older brother playing college ball and fresh off the recruitment process. So the Murphy's knew how it goes, and were in turn keen on trying to get the process moving on the quicker side if possible. When this is a factor, we can relay this to the college coaches. And they can in turn speed up their process if they're willing to do so for a given player.

And of all the D1 interest Kevin received - and it was a fair amount - one school seemed clearly willing to move fast, so fast in fact that Kevin would become the #1 committed player in his class if he accepted their offer. The program was Hobart. And after a few weeks of considering the offer, commit he did.

Larken Kemp, Brown

Our final commitment found its way to us just a couple days ago, and was again reinforcing evidence that the open tryouts for the Clams each season are the way go. Larken was with another program this past summer, the Connecticut Chargers. But being a Phillips Andover kid, and hearing very good things about the Clams, he decided to come out and give a shot at making the Clams, despite our overall strength at the defensive position.

From the second he stepped on our field, we knew we had a good one. And from the first game at the first tournament he played as a Clam, he was outstanding (and in turn, my phone hardly stopped buzzing). Three weeks later, I had heard schools ranging from Princeton and Brown to Vermont, Providence and St. Johns and nearly every NESCAC about Larken. So, despite the fact that the Kemp's said nothing about expediting the process - they were in fact somewhat surprised at the pace with which things heated up - we knew that if Larken was to get what he wanted, we need to move fast. What he and his family wanted was clear: Ivy League lacrosse. And because he had the academic profile to achieve this goal, we started cranking.

Just over a week after his final tournament with the Clams, the Philly Showcase, where he drew more attention than the previous two, Larken had considered several offers and would-have-been offers, and chose Brown. In so doing, he became Brown's first defensive commitment. And for a player who wanted Ivy League and covets playing team, the set up couldn't be better.


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