The recruiting landscape is evolving and earlier commitments are creating a trickle down effect for Division II and III coaches. As a result of online recruiting services and email, players can more easily connect with coaches, allowing Juniors and Seniors to stay in the recruiting game to the end. This allows schools like Queens University to find strong recruits at the finish line.
Coach Jim Fritz at Queens University of Charlotte touched upon this in his exclusive interview with us about the recruiting process at the Division 2 level. In his 23-year coaching career he has won over 185 games, three Deep South Conference Championships and has produced 32 all-Americans. Additionally, Fritz has been named conference coach of the year five times.
What advice do you have for players interested in playing D2 lacrosse?
Like any program, players should be putting time into their skills and their conditioning. As far as playing for Division II, start researching different schools and reaching out to the coaches through email. Send a video, say where you’re going to be in the summer and fall. Understand that Division II is a scholarship program, so we’re going to do our research as well.
What is the best way for players to get on your recruiting radar?
At this point it’s really just to email us, and let us know that you’re interested. Include the video and tell us where you are going to be and where we can see you over the summer and in the fall.
What areas of player development would you recommend players to focus on?
Biggest thing is their skills. There are so many kids just playing for select teams and not putting time into individual teams, which kids used to do in the past. Working on your skills is critical. And also working on your lacrosse IQ.
What type of player do you look for–raw athlete or refined lacrosse player?
We look for both. At the division II level, we’re not going to get that really big athletic kid who is also a refined player. So we in DII are going to look for those raw athletes we can develop over time.
What is special about being a student-athlete at Queens University of Charlotte?
I think there are a couple things. One is support of the school. Two is Queens is unique. We have a really nice campus with nice facilities. It’s campus is small but it’s only five minutes from downtown Charlotte, which definitely makes it unique.
How has the accelerated recruiting landscape impacted your approach to recruiting?
It’s changed a lot. Obviously like anybody else, we’re on the road a lot in the summer and the fall, and the way it has impacted us the most at our level is the time frame. Traditionally, we get a letter or email from someone and then you get a chance to see them over the summer and have them visit the school, and basically the recruiting process would take months. Now we’re getting kids visiting as rising juniors and some who are even rising seniors, so now the timeline is more condensed. We see you, you come visit and then we wrap it up by November, so there are not a lot of calls and letters and things in between. People are making their decisions a lot more just based on the first visit alone.
What are your do’s and don’ts, likes and dislikes of recruiting videos? If you have any.
First things first, we don’t need the music. Also, I understand a lot of players want to send highlights, and highlights are great but you have to include games. Whether it’s a quarter, or a full half, coaches don’t want to just see you scoring goals. They want to see you pick up the ground ball, how do you clear? On offense did you feed off the dodge, how did you dodge? If you’re an attack man how hard do you ride? You can tell all that just from a highlight video.
Some final thoughts from Coach James Fritz:
Where we’re going right now in lacrosse, especially in relation to DII, a lot of people look at DI as the place that you need to go. But there’s only so many open slots, and there is a lot of great lacrosse that you can play in DII and DIII. I think sometimes people don’t realize that.
ConnectLAX is a third party recruiting service and not affiliated with or endorsed by Queens University of Charlotte or James Fritz.