Nowadays it’s normal to have a phenom freshmen on your team in any college sport. Usually you think of a senior being the vocal leader and carrying the team, but now freshmen can be expected to also carry this role. Although phenom freshmen may be a norm, it is controversial when the recruiting process should begin for these young stars. Bay Shore attack man Brennan O’Neill has committed to play lacrosse for Penn State in 2021 and Brennan is only a 13 year old eighth grader. Brennan is not the only one who has committed at an early age. Caitlyn Wurzburger and Justin Brown who were both in middle school committed to play college lacrosse. The reason coaches are recruiting this young is because they look at it as an advantage over their competitors.
Although it is illegal for college recruits to communicate with athletes until their junior year of high school, many college recruits are using a loop hole. Instead of contacting the athletes the college recruits are contacting the parents and communicating through them. It’s very hard to trust the athlete at this early of an age because they’re not even playing at the varsity level yet. Their mind set could change over time and their heart just might not be with it. A lot needs to be put into perspective when making this early of an offer to that young of an athlete. The college recruits are not guaranteed anything because the athletes don’t fully commit until their senior year, so there is a possibility that they could change their mind. Parents can play a huge role in this recruiting process by determining whether or not their kid goes to a certain college. Right now the NCAA is working on a rule that would stop all communication with a recruiter and athletes/parents until a certain age or time period. It’s a work in progress but due to complaints from other coaches the NCAA is working to resolve the problem and introduce a better solution.