With the summer heating up, the lacrosse world is busy with tournaments, showcases and much more. Coach Nick Taylor of Arcadia University took time to weigh in on the process that is recruiting and the players that he feels fit best in his up and coming program.
Coach Taylor just finished his first season as Head Coach at Arcadia where he and the Knights went 5-10 with a 4-5 record in their own stadium.
Taylor’s life has been filled with lacrosse, especially since his tremendous career as a defenseman at FDU-Florham until graduation in 2008. Taylor has served as a coach at the club level and college ranks as he has experience with MadLax high school club program, Catholic University and as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Cabrini College. Taylor’s passion for Arcadia as a whole is very evident as he strives to build a championship level program.
What advice do you have for players interested in Division III schools?
First and foremost, start looking at schools that fit your academic profile. So much we talk about best fit for Division III, but taking that first step in doing your research, what majors are offered, how hard is it to get into school, what scholarships are out there is very important. My advice is look at a school’s academic profile, find something that fits you well and then begin to reach out to these coaches as soon as your sophomore year.
What is the best way for a recruit to reach you?
Email is the best route as I appreciate a well-researched email, one that might have 2-3 tidbits as to why you’re interested in Arcadia. As we read so many emails, someone that’s done their research and shows that they will have a connection to Arcadia outside of lacrosse stands out. This stands a lot stronger with coaches as you display active interest in the academics and university. This balance between lacrosse and academics is a great way to make a first impression on us.
How much importance do you place on recruit’s highlight videos?
If you have a highlight video under 3-5 minutes it is really beneficial. It’s something for us as in our office we file with every recruit in our database. That way, we may have not spoken in a couple weeks, then we see an email and are reminded of specific skill set that stands out through a certain player’s highlight video. I find highlight to be really beneficial as it serves as a quick first look but rarely do we make a decision based on a highlight video. It gives us insight into athletic upside a player may have, but then ultimately our coaches would like to see a player in person. There’s a lot of benefit though, as we utilize them and try to get as much information as possible.
What is the best way for players to get on your recruiting radar?
An introduction email with a highlight and a display of interest in our school is a great way to get your name out there to us. We also host prospect days twice a year, which have become much more prevalent in Division III schools (August 7 on campus, and one at the end of fall recruiting period in December). Those prospect days are open to any high school student athlete. These prospect days serve as a great first look at campus, allows you to be on campus, see the facilities and witness an Arcadia lacrosse practice. You also get to compete against some of the Arcadia commits, get a feel for what your future teammates may be like, and what type of players that are being recruited. Prospect days have evolved into a very strong recruiting tool and teaching tool.
When is an appropriate time for a player to realize that you are interested or not interested?
It’s a two way street, as we talk talk about this during the first visit. If at any point we fall off your radar we want to know as soon as possible so that we can move on. Having an open line of communication is very important and usually indicates a strong interest from us. If you’re getting sporadic emails here and there, you might be a different level recruit. We try to be as clear as possible as to where you fall on our list. So if we can touch base every other week that’s a fair line of communication, whether it through email or whatever, as long as I’m reaching out to you, you’re reaching back.
What type of players do you primarily look for, a raw athlete or refined lacrosse player?
Being a young program, there’s a nice opportunity for athletes to come in and make an impact right away. I’m a firm believer that if you’re a good athlete you can really make a difference in this game. Athleticism and making plays based on athletic ability really stands out to us. Something for us is we want to be athletic across the board in many positions. In Division III there’s lots of high quality student athletes as we’re seeing more and more Division I talent at Division III schools for a lot of different reasons. We’re fortunate enough that there are a lot of guys out there that are playing at a high-level and are interested in our University for the right reasons.
Do you place an importance on playing more than just lacrosse in high school?
Not only do a lot of skills in other sports translate to lacrosse but it also usually gives you a more well-rounded, better locker-room guy who understands what it means to be on a team and also what it means to be a good teammate. Multi-sports athletes are often pretty hard workers managing two sports in a high-school curriculum, which aligns well with the commitment you can expect at Division III schools. It is a very big time commitment, so being involved with multiple things in high school helps one become more prepared to handle the rigor of Division III lacrosse.
What is best route for a recruit in terms of a timeline?
I think starting to look sophomore year for Division III, that’s a point and time, you should start making your list, emailing coaches. For us we have sophomores at prospects day, and we see sophomores in passing during the summer. However, it starts to heat up junior year, were we take a hopefully second look and we may invite them to campus for a visit day. Then there’s hope that fall of their senior year they’ve applied, are accepted and are able to obtain an early financial aid read, then take an overnight visit and are ready to make a decision. That’s the brief timeline they and we work at. For whatever reason, there’s always other guys that are later in the process and we will recruit seniors as much as we can. As a growing program, bringing in talented classes is very important so we are always looking for talent in all grades.
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