A Trip Through the Recruiting Cycle
By Wyatt Naylor
Wyatt Naylor, a recent graduate of Glenelg Country School (Md.), completed a two-week internship with US Lacrosse earlier this spring. On the lacrosse field, he helped Glenelg to a runner-up finish in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) B Conference while earning all-league honors as an attackman. As part of his internship, he wrote about his experience with one of the hot topics affecting youth and high school lacrosse — early recruiting.
Early recruiting is putting heavy pressure on parents and players to commit at a young age. Top players in the country are committing as 14-year-old freshmen. As a freshman going into my sophomore year, I saw my club team goalie verbally commit to North Carolina. My immediate reaction was “I’m running out of time.”
In reality, I had more than enough time, and I was just feeling anxious because I saw other kids around me committing. As the summer went on, I was given looks by Division I schools, and my anxiety to commit went down. I went through my sophomore year without committing, and then the summer of my sophomore year rolled around. I was receiving many D-III looks but I was totally against going D-III. I was dead set on being the next D-I athlete, but the commitment never came.
I went to many prospect days, played in numerous tournaments, and emailed countless coaches, but it never seemed meant to be. I rode the D-I roller coaster for almost two years, and I was done with it. I realized that D-III was a great option, and by the time I started contacting D-III coaches, I had so much practice with DI coaches that I like I was an expert on recruiting.
I visited four D-III schools, all with different things to offer me. After visiting Roanoke College in the spring of my junior year, I fell in love with it. I knew that it was the right fit for me. It was small, tight-knit, in a beautiful area, and had a great academic and athletic program. I am so glad that I waited, because I truly believe that Roanoke College, a small southern Virginia school, is the place for me.
The freshmen version of me would have scoffed at myself for committing to a D-III school, but senior me is glad that I waited for the right school to call home.