Recruiting Insight: Navy’s Ryan Wellner

Recruits need to continuously elevate their game on the field and in the classroom. College coaches quickly recognize this drive and intensity within recruits and know it’s a crucial trait to succeed at the next level.

We spoke with Ryan Wellner of the Naval Academy about how recruits can stand out from the crowded recruiting landscape. Coach Wellner is in his third season at the Naval Academy where he works closely with Navy’s defense and also the faceoff unit. Last spring, the Midshipmen finished No. 2 in the country in caused turnovers, averaging 10 per game thanks to a strong defensive unit.

What advice do you have for players interested in Division I schools?

Players who are seriously interested in playing Division I lacrosse need to identify the type of school they are looking for. Whether it is location, size, academic rigors, go through all the necessary steps to ensure a confident decision. Continue reading…

Recruiting Advice from Instructor Charles Giunta

As a senior in high school, Charles was heavily recruited, and had played along side of players who had the opportunity to play for Duke, Denver, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio State, Army, Navy, and Bryant. Charles began his college career by playing as a starting defenseman. He continues to work and focus on very specific details and will do whatever it takes to be best player he can be. He takes this mentality from the field to his coaching abilities. See what he has to say about his personal recruiting experience.

Where do you play college lacrosse and why did you choose that program?
I play lacrosse at Saint Joseph’s University under head coach Taylor Wray. For me personally, I chose Saint Joe’s because for many different reasons. First and foremost, the coaching staff blew me away. Their vision to create a top tier Division 1 program was remarkable and I felt as though I fit in perfectly with how they wanted to get their. Another reason was that the school has a great reputation for having top academic programs. The last reason was that I got to stay close to home while also playing Division 1 lacrosse.
What other colleges did you consider and what was the determining factor in your decision?
I visited many schools including Hofstra, High Point, Lehigh, Penn, and St. John’s but ultimately it came down to Monmouth and Saint Joe’s for me. They all impressed me in their own unique ways but I felt as though Saint Joe’s had the total package.

Did you have any positive or negative surprises about the program once you were on campus?
I had one major surprise and I noticed it almost as soon as I stepped on campus: how serious the athletic department was about creating a top lacrosse program. I had always heard that Saint Joes was never a serious lacrosse program until Coach Wray came in and completely revamped the program. His impact in only a short amount of time was defiantly a huge surprise for me.

How did being a collegiate student-athlete shape your college experience?
My experience as a college athlete, though its difficult at times, is 100% worth it. I love to compete every single day with all of my best friends whether in on the field, on the track, or in the weight room and Division 1 lacrosse allows me to do so. Also I’ve always felt that without the structure of lacrosse, I would not be as motivated to put my best foot forward in school and lacrosse forces me to do so.

Given your recruiting experience, what advice or tips do you have for current recruits?
My recruiting experience was long and really challenging at points. For me, it tested my character as well as my mental and emotional toughness. To any athlete that is going through the process currently I would say don’t sweat it. Everything works out in the end. If you go out and play your hardest every game and take full opportunity of the advantages in front of you, their is no reason why things can’t and won’t work out.

Recruiting Interview: Nick Taylor of Cabrini College

Lacrosse can open doors to great colleges and universities but what are your plans for once your collegiate career is over? Nick Taylor, assistant coach at Cabrini College wants recruits to have this question being asked whenever visiting or speaking with college coaches. As much as it is about lacrosse and winning games it is important to realize that this is a lifelong process.

Nick Taylor enters his third year as an assistant men’s lacrosse coach in 2014-15.

Taylor came to Cabrini after a four-year stint as an assistant coach at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.  The Cardinals amassed 40 wins during Taylor’s four years on the sideline, reaching the program’s first ever Landmark Conference championship game in 2010.

During his years at Catholic, Taylor coached 10 All-Landmark Conference student-athletes, including Chris Fuccillo, the 2010 Landmark Conference Player of the Year and a 2012 USILA Honorable Mention All-American, and 2011 ECAC and conference Rookie of the Year Brendan Englert

What advice do you have for players interested in playing DIII lacrosse?

My advice for players interested in playing DIII lacrosse would be to focus on the school that offers the best fit. Whether it is academically, socially, or on the lacrosse field, do the research and find out what you really want from a DIII program. Do what’s best for yourself and don’t worry about outside factors such as where your friends are committing and where people want you to go.

What’s the best way to get on your recruiting radar? Any things recruits shouldn’t do?

The best way to get on our recruiting radar would be to send an email. Show interest in the school, attach your academic scores and grades, and include a highlight tape of not only plays that you’ve made but also how you’ve reacted without the ball.

What’s a question you wished recruits asked you more during the recruiting process?

The one question I wished recruits asked more during the recruiting process is what are the job opportunities like after I graduate? As much as it is about lacrosse and winning games it is important to realize that this is a lifelong process. We like to see recruits asking questions about life after college, how can they prepare themselves to be job ready when the time comes to look for jobs?

What are a few indicators that help you determine whether a good high school player will become a great college player?

Players who have great stick skills are really adept at adapting to the college game quickly. We ask ourselves these questions about each recruit: can this guy handle the ball, carry with pressure up and down the field, shoot with both hands? How is his work ethic? Is this recruit willing to work hard and do the dirty work to continue improving? It’s not only about how many goals you score but instead the total package.

What’s special about being a student-athlete at Cabrini College?

Special to being a student-athlete at Cabrini College is the knowledge that you’ll be competing for a national championship every year. In college lacrosse’s competitive landscape student-athletes at Cabrini will play against the best teams at our level and you will play into April, early May, competing in the NCAA tournament.

How has the accelerated recruiting process impacted your approach to recruiting? 

The accelerated recruiting process has helped Cabrini College in a number of facets. First off it allows for DIII programs like ours to get DI talent because there are guys still around. With a limited number of DI opportunities guys fall through the cracks and wind up becoming great players for us. For some recruits who were under recruited early but come on later in high school DIII is a great opportunity for them to continue their athletic careers.

ConnectLAX is a third party recruiting service and not affiliated with or endorsed by Cabrini College or Nick Taylor.