Marcus Dent has been playing lacrosse his whole life, and can personally attest to the advantages the sport has brought him. After earning four letters in high school, Marcus went on to play in college, but his career was brought to an early close due to an injury. Afterwards, he took over the MCLA program at his university. Today, he continues to coach at DePaul University. Check out what Marcus has to say about his personal recruiting experience.
Where did you play college lacrosse and why did you choose that program?
I played college lacrosse for DePaul University’s MCLA club team my freshman year before hanging up the cleats due to concussion issues.
What other colleges did you consider and what was the determining factor in your decision?
I was talking to Lafayette University, Sacred Heart University, and Washington College before I decided to head to Chicago to play club ball. I would have loved to play Division I, but my family was new to the recruiting process while I was going through high school and we really didn’t reach out to coaches until the summer before my senior year, which I think held me back from getting recruited by better programs. The colleges I was talking to were either too close to home or not the right program fit for me, so I decided to focus on academics at DePaul.
Did you have any positive or negative surprises about the program once you were on campus?
There were definitely a lot of negative surprises when I first started playing at DePaul. In high school I played in a college-style system and played against some of the best competition in the country, and when I first experienced DePaul’s club team I thought it was a big step down; no coach, no fields to practice on, and a weak schedule. I suffered a concussion at the end of my season, which sidelined me forever. I still loved the sport and saw a lot of potential in DePaul’s program so I convinced the seniors on the team to let me coach. Over the course of three seasons I helped take the team from a 2-5 record (my freshman year 2010) to a 9-2 team in 2014. We actually won our conference (the GRLC) in 2013 and received our first ever national tournament berth, which was an incredible feeling. I have since had to back out of my coaching role at DePaul so that I can work full-time, but it is a long-term goal of mine to convince the athletic department at DePaul to fund a Division I lacrosse team because it is disgraceful that Notre Dame and Marquette are the “faces” of men’s lacrosse in Chicago.
How did being a collegiate student-athlete shape your college experience?
Being a collegiate student-athlete helped me to be more of a goal-oriented person as I progressed through school. It also introduced me to some of my best friends and helped be develop an invaluable network of friends and professionals that I will keep in contact with for the rest of my life.
Given your recruiting experience, what advice or tips do you have for current recruits?
Don’t make the same mistake I did, start as early as possible. Expose yourself to as many camps and tournaments as possible and don’t be afraid to be assertive during the process. Stay focused on becoming the best TEAM player you possibly can because that is the type of player coaches are looking for in the end. Hit the wall.