Boston High School: Avon Old Farms (Conn.)

UMass offers O'Neil, Van Allen, McDonald

February, 15, 2012
ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today on the East Recruiting Blog with BB&N tight end Brendan O'Neil and Avon Old Farms (Conn.) wideout/defensive back John Van Allen, who both received offers over the weekend from UMass.

The offers were made following the program's Junior Day on campus, and are also the first scholarship offer for both players.

Brown writes:

“It was definitely a good feeling to get that first offer in the books,” Van Allen said. “They didn't tell me specifically what position, but I got a strong feeling it was as a safety.

“UMass is an up-and-coming school at the Division I level. They're joining the MAC and it looks like they have a bright future. I can definitely see them as one of my options. They showed interest in me and I appreciate that.”

Van Allen said he plans to take an unofficial visit to Connecticut on Feb. 25 and an unofficial visit to Duke on March 31.

O'Neil said UMass coach Charley Molnar told him the school is committed to landing the best players from Massachusetts.

“He told me they believe the core part of their team can be the top players in Massachusetts,” O'Neil said. “He said he believes there's a great base of talent here in the state.”

Molnar first heard about O'Neil from Shane Waldron, a former assistant coach at BB&N who is now on the UMass staff.

O'Neil said he plans to attend a junior day at Duke next month. He has attended a junior day and a game at Boston College, and a game at Notre Dame.

“The tour of the [UMass] campus was good and the offer was exciting, but it's too early to speculate where I might end up right now,” O'Neil said.

Brown also reports that the Minutemen have also extended an offer to BC High offensive lineman Jack McDonald, while Rutgers becomes the ninth school to extend an offer to Everett offensive tackle John Montelus. In the last week, Montelus has seen offers pour in from Florida, West Virginia and Michigan, in addition to the Scarlet Knights.

ESPNHS 100 lacrosse rankings unveiled

October, 5, 2011
ESPNHS unveils its first Top 100 rankings for the Class of 2012, and the list is littered with local flavor.

One week after being named the nation's top attack by ESPNHS, Darien (Conn.) High's Case Matheis is ranked as the nation's top overall player; Salisbury (Conn.) attack Mikey Morris comes in at No. 7, while Deerfield Academy goalie Luke Aaron rounds out the top 10 at No. 10.

Three members of Duxbury's MIAA Division 1 state championship squad last spring are ranked in the top 60 -- Matt O'Keefe (32), Seamus Connelly (36) and Reilly Naton (51).

The full list can be found here. The locals populating the ESPNHS 100 are listed below:

1. Case Matheis, Attack, Darien (Darien, Conn.) - Duke
7. Mikey Morris, Attack, Salisbury School (Salisbury, Conn.) - Johns Hopkins
10. Luke Aaron, Goalie, Deerfield Academy (Deerfield, Mass.) - Duke
26. Tanner Scales, Defender, Salisbury School (Salisbury, Conn.) - Virginia
32. Matt O'Keefe, Defender, Duxbury (Duxbury, Mass.) - Johns Hopkins
36. Seamus Connelly, Attack, Duxbury (Duxbury, Mass.) - Duke
39. Dickson Smith, LSM, Holdnerness School (Holderness, N.H.) - Virginia
44. Joe Kruy, Midfielder, Philips Andover (Andover, Mass.) - Duke
51. Reilly Naton, LSM, Duxbury (Duxbury, Mass.) - Yale
61. Oliver Saffery, Midfielder, Wellesley (Wellesley, Mass.) - Gettysburg
64. Will Ryan, Goalie, Avon Old Farms (Avon, Conn.) - Johns Hopkins
65. Connor Darcey, Goalie, Wellesley (Wellesley, Mass.) - Penn State
71. Sean Conners, Attack, Deerfield Academy (Deerfield, Mass.) - Princeton
83. Bob Fahey, Defender, Bishop Guertin (Nashua, N.H.) - Undecided
93. Corey Wisnowski, LSM, Berkshire School (Sheffield, Mass.) - Undecided
96. Billy Heidt, Midfielder, Brunswick School (Greenwich, Conn.) - Dartmouth
100. Greg Stamatov, Goalie, Foxborough (Foxborough, Mass.) - Villanova

Van Allen radiating on the recruiting scene

September, 23, 2011
ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today on his recruiting blog with Avon Old Farms (Conn.) junior wide receiver John Van Allen, who has used the late start to the prep school season to catch up on recruiting.

Avon opens the 2011 season this weekend, which has left the 6-foot-3, 190-pounder enough time to attend two UConn games. Neither the Huskies nor Boston College have come forward with a scholarship offer yet, but they are two schools high on his list. He attended camps at both schools this summer.

Brown writes:

"My coach [Kevin Driscoll] keeps me updated on anything related to recruiting," Van Allen said. "He said UConn is pretty interested in me. Boston College as well.

"Syracuse, UCLA, Nebraska, Vanderbilt and Stanford are the other schools I've heard from. I'm kind of indecisive right now about where I'd like to go and what I'd like to study. It's a little early."

Van Allen, one of at least a handful of Division I recruits on the Avon Old Farms roster, said he's been told he could play either wide receiver or safety at the college level. He's said he has no preference, but added that wide receiver is his best position at this point in his career.

"I have pretty good speed and my height helps me go get the ball," he said. "The position doesn't matter to me. I feel I can play on both sides of the ball."

Van Allen is planning to attend a Boston College game this fall, and is trying to fit another trip to Connecticut into his schedule.

"I feel confident that I'll be getting some offers soon, because I'm confident I can play at the Division I level," Van Allen said.

For more recruiting updates on New England's top high school football talent, be sure to check out Brown's ESPN blog.

Four locals on Keith Law's Future 50

February, 17, 2011
With the college baseball season getting started, and high schools next month, ESPN's Keith Law has unveiled his preseason Future 50, ranking the top prospects for this year's upcoming Major League Baseball Draft. Law calls this year's draft class "as loaded as any I can remember. It shows great strength in college and high school pitching and has some depth in college outfielders, with athleticism on display all over the place."

Four New Englanders are on the list, among them Lawrence Academy righthander Tyler Beede and three Connecticut natives playing in the college ranks: Vanderbilt's Jason Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity); and UConn's Matt Barnes (Bethel, Conn./Bethel) and George Springer (New Britain, Conn./Avon Old Farms).

Here's what Law had to say on each of the locals:

2. George Springer, OF, 6-3, 220, UConn
Analysis: An athletic outfielder with an above-average arm who projects to hit and hit for power and just needs to refine his approach, especially with two strikes.

6. Matt Barnes, LHP, 6-4, 203, UConn
Analysis: Regularly 92-96 with a hard curveball and an average changeup and a delivery that's gotten a little cleaner since he entered UConn as an unheralded and undrafted freshman in 2008.

20. Jason Esposito, 3B, 6-2, 205, Vanderbilt
Analysis: Can hit and hit for power, with a refined approach last year that came from quieting his lower half. Could probably play second if asked but he's above average at third.

27. Tyler Beede, RHP, 6-4, 200, Lawrence Academy (Mass.)
Analysis: Will flash above-average velocity but it's the command, the feel, the off-speed stuff, even the two-seamer, that gets you excited here.