Boston High School: Virginia Cavaliers

St. John's Prep head coach Brian St. Pierre told members of the Boston area media this afternoon that prized junior tight end Jake Burt recently received his first two Division 1 FBS offers -- Virginia last Saturday, and Boston College back on March 15.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Burt had a breakout season last year for the Eagles in a "flex" role, posing matchup problems from the slot, split out wide, or in-line. Holy Cross was the first Division 1 school to offer Burt, last fall, with Brown and Harvard following up with offers of their own.

BC also has offers out to Xaverian defensive end Joe Gaziano, Lawrence Academy tight end/linebacker Chris Garrison, and Amherst athlete Taj-Amir Torres. Since the Eagles offered Burt on March 15, they picked up three in-state commitments in Shepherd Hill offensive guard Chris Lindstrom, Everett cornerback Lukas Denis, and Brockton guard/tackle Aaron Monteiro.

Recruiting Notes: All eyes on Millis' Baker

October, 16, 2012
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U.S. Senator John Kerry used to live in Millis, which is also known for the Millis Lights and a ginger ale company now known as Canada Dry.

The next big thing from Millis? It will likely be Jon Baker, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound two-way lineman who plays for the Millis-Hopedale co-op program.

Baker, a junior, picked up a scholarship offer from the University of Massachusetts –- his first offer -– last May. Offers from Boston College and Connecticut came shortly thereafter.

“Harvard has also offered him in the way that they can,” Millis-Hopedale coach Dale Olmstead said. “They'll support his application is the way they put it.”

Baker has been a varsity starter since the first day of his freshman season. He played center that year, but has since been moved to guard. He lines up at noseguard as well.

“All four of the schools are great schools,” Baker said. “Obviously education is important, but so is football. Right now everything is still an option. It's still pretty early.”

According to Olmstead, Baker is being recruited to play one of the interior offensive line positions. Baker said he would prefer to play offensive line, but hasn't ruled out playing defense in college either.

“BC has shown the most interest,” Olmstead said. “Coach [Sean] Devine is pretty thorough. They want to make him their center. They want to make him their poster child because he's a 4.0 student interested in pre-med.”

Baker, 17, popped on the radar after a strong showing at BC's camp last summer. That's where the Harvard coaches first noticed him.

Virginia defensive coordinator Jim Reid is scheduled to be at Millis-Hopedale on Monday. Michigan and Stanford are among the other schools that have shown strong interest. He attended a camp at Virginia this summer, and visited Michigan as well.

“Michigan [assistant coach Curt Mallory] has been by three times,” Olmstead said. “They're very interested in him. Stanford is a strong academic school with good football, so that might be a good fit. After the season I expect every school in the country to come calling.”

Baker said he has no timetable for committing to a school, but added that he would prefer to have the decision made before the start of his senior season.

“That would be nice,” he said. “I'll make it when it feels right. There's no hurry.”

Mass. appeal: No one can accuse the University of Massachusetts of ignoring local talent. The Minutemen extended an offer to St. John's Prep junior running back Jon Thomas on Tuesday night. Thomas ran for 233 yards and three touchdowns in a 49-8 victory over St. John's (Shrewsbury) last weekend.

Five New England players from the Class of 2013 have committed to UMass: quarterback Todd Stafford (The Brunswick School, Greenwich, Conn.), defensive end Peter Ngobidi (Catholic Memorial), defensive tackle Terrel Correia (Nantucket), offensive tackle Tyson Henderson (St. George's School, Middletown, R.I.) and defensive end Cole Ormsby (Windsor High School, Windsor, Conn.).

UMass has made an offer to at least one Class of 2013 player in four of the six New England states.

Footnotes: Twelve players from Connecticut (Class of 2013) have committed to Division I schools. Massachusetts currently has eight Division I commitments in the Class of 2013...The highest-rated uncommitted player from New England is Tabor Academy's Tevin Montgomery, a three-star defensive tackle who has narrowed his choices to Boston College, Vanderbilt and Virginia...Three-star wide receiver David Coggins (Sacred Heart, Waterbury, Conn.) said Massachusetts, Stony Brook, Temple and Illinois are the schools showing the most interest. Coggins decommitted from Boston College last month.

Recruiting information regarding high school or prep school players in New England can be sent to Roger Brown at rbrown@nhfootballreport.com.

Recruiting Notes: Strachan taking it slow

October, 2, 2012
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St. Sebastian's Connor Strachan has a message for those eager to learn where he will be playing college football: Be prepared to wait.

“Yeah, right now recruiting isn't really the focus,” Strachan said. “We have a chance for an undefeated season, so I think it's best to play the season out and then narrow it down.”

Strachan, a 6-foot-1, 230-pound junior, has scholarship offers from four schools: Boston College, Connecticut, Virginia and Wake Forest. He received his offers after attending each school's camp last summer. Although he's being recruited primarily as an inside linebacker, he said Connecticut and Virginia have shown interest in his skills as a running back as well.

[+] EnlargeSt. Sebastian's football
Ryan Kilian for ESPNBoston.com St. Sebastian's junior linebacker/running back Connor Strachan already claims offers from Boston College, Virginia, UConn and Wake Forest.
“I've been playing linebacker longer,” Strachan said. “I feel I'm geared more toward defense.”

Strachan, who lives in Wellesley, is the only New England player from the Class of 2014 in the ESPN 300 Watch List, which was released last week.

“Strachan may play at a small school, but he's a big-time talent on a national level,” ESPN recruiting coordinator Billy Tucker said. “He was recently named to the 2014 ESPN 300 Watch List as we saw prototypical size and speed measurables for the inside linebacker position, as well as deceptive athleticism and run-stopping instincts to be very productive at the BCS level.”

Strachan's uncle Steve played at Boston College and in the NFL for the Los Angeles Raiders, and his brother Brian is a sophomore wide receiver at Brown.

Maryland, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Penn State are among the other schools showing significant interest in Strachan.

“I really want to play at the highest level possible, but I'm definitely looking for a place with good academics,” Strachan said. “After the season I'll try to do some visits and narrow it down to two or three schools. I'd like to have it done before next summer.”

Back in action: Former Everett High School quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso isn't the only Division I recruit in the Phillips Exeter Academy backfield this season.

Running backs Andreas Robinson (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia) and Devon Carrillo (Middletown, Conn.) will both have plenty of Division I options to choose from.

“They're like clones of each other,” Phillips Exeter coach Bill Glennon said. “Carillo is a free safety, but we're real tough when he's in the [offensive backfield]. Carillo is tougher inside, Andreas is a kid who can get to the outside.”

Robinson was the NEPSAC's leading rusher in 2010, but missed most of last season with an injury. He has taken visits to N.C. State, North Carolina and Stanford. Glennon said both Robinson and Carrillo are drawing heavy interest from FCS schools as well.

“Maine has already offered both, and UNH is gonna offer,” Glennon said. “I think the [FBS] schools are more interested in Andreas as a defensive back, and then everyone else on the I-AA level is interested in him as a running back.”

Conn. man: Boston College landed one of the top athletes in Connecticut when Manchester High School quarterback/linebacker Marquis Little committed to the Eagles late last month. Little is expected to play outside linebacker in college.

Andrew Isaacs, Little's high school teammate, decommitted from BC to accept a scholarship offer from Maryland earlier this year.

Footnotes: Brookfield (Conn.) High School's Boeing Brown, the No. 11 recruit from Connecticut in the Class of 2013, has been moved from quarterback to wide receiver this season. ESPN has Brown rated s two-star quarterback...Roxbury Latin quarterback Mackay Lowery completed 24 of 37 passes for 291 yards and five touchdowns in last weekend's 34-33 victory over Thayer Academy. Lowery has committed to Boston College.

Recruiting information regarding high school or prep school players in New England can be sent to Roger Brown at rbrown@nhfootballreport.com.

BC High's McDonald: UVA football 'going to take off'

June, 25, 2012
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A litte over an hour ago, BC High senior offensive lineman Jack McDonald ended his recruiting with a verbal commitment to the University of Virginia, choosing the Cavaliers over a list of several other ACC schools that included Boston College, North Carolina, Maryland and Miami.

[+] EnlargeJack McDonald
Brendan Hall/ESPN.comBC High offensive lineman Jack McDonald, the state's No. 3 overall prospect, committed to Virginia on Monday night.
The 6-foot-5, 285-pound McDonald, a Quincy resident, spoke with ESPNBoston.com a few moments ago to talk more about his commitment.

Deciding factors: "The academics were a factor. I know how good of a school. Coach [Mike] London was a good guy when I met him, he seemed like a guy that is taking the program in the right direction."

"The campus was wicked beautiful, I loved that. Academics have always been important to me. My football career is gonna end at some point, so it's always good to have a good education, and I know UVA provides that."

On where he fits in the program: They told me I could be recruited as a tackle, but that I'm borderline between tackle and guard. I play both of those in high school, they said doing both gives me a good opportunity to play, but we'll see what's the best opportunity for me to fit in when I get down there."

On the semi-pipeline [2006 graduate Jack Shields started 23 games at center for the Cavaliers from 2008-09]: "I think again, the education comes into play right there. I think that's just kind of part of it."

On Mike London: "He's very positive about where he's bringing the program over the next few years, what he's going to do with it, he really believes in them. This progam is going to take off."

What he'll be working on the rest of this summer: "This summer I've been trying to improve my footwork a lot, get quicker feet. I've been moving a lot better, and I've gained a lot of weight, to put on some more strength. But right now my focus is on footwork and being more explosive. I'm up to 285 right now. I've been running this summer and I feel pretty good right now, I'll keep lifting and see what happens."

BC High's McDonald commits to Virginia

June, 25, 2012
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Boston College High offensive lineman Jack McDonald has verbally committed to the University of Virginia for the 2013 season, he just announced tonight on his Twitter account.

"Just committed to the University of Virginia!" he wrote in a tweet.

McDonald is a three-star prospect ranked as the No. 3 overall player in Massachusetts by Scouts Inc. He chose the Cavaliers over Boston College and North Carolina, but also had offers from Miami, Maryland, UMass, UConn and Duke.

Scouts Inc. has a full evaluation of McDonald that you can find HERE. Below is an excerpt:



McDonald is very efficient when pass blocking; has the size and athleticism for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition however there is the need to improve explosion and upper body playing strength. His frame appears capable of supporting additional body mass over time. Playing out of a three point stance, we see good flexibility, agility and balance; demonstrates the ability to play on his feet in space while showing he can adjust to handle quick change of direction movement; displays the mobility to operate successfully in a tight box. When run blocking we see a lineman who comes off the ball aggressively but lacks the explosive pop and surge necessary to consistently knock defenders off the line of scrimmage; wins the battles using his foot quickness to establish and maintain an advantage; blocks with a flat back and solid base. This prospect runs well and is quick releasing to linebackers; flashes the ability to reach for leverage while showing the athleticism needed to consistently get a hat on active 1st and 2nd level defenders. This guy is a tough, consistent finisher.


Taft (Conn.) soph Breen commits to UVA

April, 18, 2012
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ESPNHS lacrosse editor Mike Loveday is reporting that Taft School (Conn.) sophomore attack Tyler Breen has verbally committed to the University of Virginia.

Breen confirmed his commitment to ESPNHS last night, and becomes the fifth player in the Cavaliers 2014 recruiting class. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound sophomore also considered Maryland, North Carolina and Princeton.

Interest for Hurst, Montelus continues to climb

April, 8, 2012
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From a recruiting standpoint, the last two months have been filled with pleasant surprises for Xaverian defensive tackle Maurice Hurst Jr.

The most recent surprise came last Wednesday, when Ohio State became the 14th school to offer Hurst a scholarship.

“It came from [linebackers coach] Mike Vrabel and it was kind of a surprise, especially since I haven't been on campus yet,” Hurst said. “I've been in regular contact with them [Ohio State]. We talk about once a week.”

Hurst said after he received the Ohio State offer he placed a call to Catholic Memorial linebacker Camren Williams, who signed with Ohio State earlier this year. Catholic Memorial defensive back Armani Reeves also chose Ohio State on national signing day.

“I talk to Cam and his dad [Brent] a lot,” Hurst said. “We just talked about how cool it would be to have all these Mass. guys out there.”

Hurst, a 6-foot-2, 290-pound junior, also has offers from Boston College, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, N.C. State, Purdue, Temple, Vanderbilt and Virginia.

Hurst said he will take an unofficial visit to Penn State next weekend, and is trying to finalize plans to visit Virginia later this month. He will also attend Ohio State's spring game on April 21.

“Those are some of the schools I really like,” Hurst said. “I've been talking to Michigan and Penn State a lot. Both of those schools want to see me before they offer.”

Hurst and Everett offensive tackle John Montelus will likely be the Massachusetts players from the Class of 2103 who are recruited the heaviest. Montelus picked up his latest offer –- No. 14 –- from South Florida last month. He also has offers from Boston College, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, N.C. State, Ohio State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia and West Virginia.

Montelus, who is scheduled to visit Florida on April 18, said USC is another school that has shown significant interest.

Hurst, who has attended junior days at Boston College, Connecticut and Maryland, recorded 61 tackles (13.5 for loss) and seven sacks during his junior season. His highlight tape also includes a 75-yard touchdown run during a 27-9 victory over St. John's Shrewsbury last season. He lined up at fullback and ran for 266 yards in that game.

Hurst said he has no timetable set for choosing his school.

“I'm not really worried about when I make my decision,” he said. “I don't want to make the mistake of waiting too late. I don't want to wait so long that other players at my position commit and I can't go to a school like Ohio State.

“I'm hoping to decide before next season.”

BC, Big Ten on radar for Everett OT Montelus

January, 5, 2012
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ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today on the East Recruiting Blog with Everett junior offensive tackle John Montelus, who had four Division 1 FBS scholarship offers before the start of the 2011 season and has since added a fifth from Boston College.

Virginia, Syracuse, UConn and NC State all offered the 6-foot-5, 295-pound Montelus before his 16th birthday. He then went out and lived up to those expectations by being named to ESPN Boston's MIAA All-State Team.

Could more offers be coming down the pipe? Brown writes:



Montelus, who plays left tackle, said BC offensive line coach Sean Devine was at two of his games last season. Montelus has shown interest in BC as well. He attended BC's game against Florida State last season, and was in attendance when BC played Virginia in 2010.

Montelus helped Everett extend the program's winning streak to 25 games when it beat Lincoln-Sudbury, 36-13, in the Eastern Massachusetts Division 1A Super Bowl in December.

Montelus said he thinks West Virginia and Rutgers are also close to offering him a scholarship. He has also been invited to attend a junior day at West Virginia next month.

“Big Ten schools are starting to talk to me too,” he said. “Michigan's offensive line coach talked to me recently and I've also heard from Purdue and Nebraska.

“I don't really like to talk about what schools I like and what schools I don't like. I have another year and people will find out. Right now I'm just happy all these schools have offered me.”


Severin: Virginia is 'the place I need to be'

September, 19, 2011
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WORCESTER, Mass. -– Canaan Severin said his decision to attend the University of Virginia was less about picking the right football program than it was about picking the right school.

Severin, a wide receiver in his senior season at Worcester Academy, announced his decision Monday afternoon. He had double-digit scholarship offers, but had narrowed his options to Boston College, Penn State and Virginia.

“Coach London [Virginia head coach Mike London] is all about education first,” Severin said. “When my dad and I met with him in his office last summer we were there for two hours and I don't think we talked about football once. My dad liked that, and I liked that.

“He's doing great things down there and I want to be on board when it all comes together.”

ESPNU has Severin rated as a three-star athlete, and the No. 6 recruit from Massachusetts in the class of 2012.

“He's a big-play receiver,” Worcester Academy coach David Dykeman said. “He's 6-3, 205 pounds with a tremendous amount of athleticism. The kid's character is unbelievable.

“The future is even brighter for him. When he got here he was a hoop player first. That's changed obviously. He got offered by some great people and some great staffs. I'm excited for him.”

Severin, who lives in Marlborough, originally narrowed his potential landing spots to five schools: Boston College, Connecticut, Iowa, Penn State and Virginia. He then trimmed that list to a final three.

He visited Virginia twice last summer, and took trips to Boston College and Penn State earlier this month. Severin said he plans to study either economics or accounting.

“The decision was a hard one,” Severin said. “I want to say thank you to Penn State and BC for recruiting me. Penn State is definitely a great program and there are great people down there. Same thing with Boston College. It was tough to tell them I wasn't coming, but I think I picked Virginia for all the right reasons. Last week it just hit me. I said, 'Why am I waiting? This is the place I need to be.'”

Severin caught 35 passes for 550 yards and five touchdowns last season. Most schools recruited him to play wide receiver, but Severin said Penn State wanted him to play tight end or an H-back position.

“I think he wanted the opportunity to play wide receiver,” Dykeman said. “There's no question it was BC and Virginia at the end of the day.”

Severin will begin his senior season Saturday, when Worcester Academy plays at Phillips Exeter Academy. He said it was tough to turn down the opportunity to play close to home at Boston College, but added that he felt like it was time for him to experience something new.

“He really had no bad choices,” Dykeman said. “I started to get an indication he was leaning toward Virginia last week. He had a great relationship with Mike London and [defensive coordinator] Jim Reid. I just think he was more comfortable at Virginia. I think Virginia got a great player.”

Worcester Academy's Severin picks UVA

September, 19, 2011
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Worcester Academy's Canaan Severin, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound wideout from Marlborough, has decided to make his Class of 2012 announcement for the University of Virginia.

Rated three-stars by ESPNU, Severin had listed Penn State, Boston College and Virginia as his final three schools. He earlier eliminated Iowa and UConn.

Among his other offers were Michigan State, Missouri, North Carolina State, Purdue, Rutgers and Syracuse.

Worcester Academy coach David Dykeman told ESPN's Roger Brown, "Canaan has a great relationship with (Virginia head coach) Mike London and (associate head coach / defensive coordinator) Jim Reed. He was offered by great people and some great staffs. He really didn't have a bad choice. At the end of the day, I just think he was more comfortable at Virginia."

As a junior, Severin had 35 receptions for 550 yards and five touchdowns.

Worcester Acad.'s Severin announcing today

September, 19, 2011
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ESPN's Roger Brown passes along that Worcester Academy athlete Canaan Severin will be announcing his decision at 12:45 p.m. today, between his final five of Boston College, UConn, Penn State, Virginia and Iowa.

Severin trimmed the list to five late last June, and gave Brown a rundown on each school.

Check back with us later today.

Everett Jr. OT Montelus already has four offers

September, 1, 2011
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ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today on his recruiting blog with Everett offensive lineman John Montelus, who has already scored scholarship offers from four BCS programs before his junior year of school has even started.

the 6-foot-4, 293-pound left tackle is still 15 years old, and received offers from UConn and Syracuse after attending their camps this summer. NC State and Virginia have since offered, after seeing tape sent by head coach John DiBiaso.

Brown writes:


"He's got four offers right now and he's gonna get some more," DiBiaso said. "He was tall and lean as a freshman and probably played at 245 as a sophomore. He just filled into his body.

"He's just what they're looking for at the next level. He's got good feet, he's a great pass blocker and he has long arms. At the UConn camp they told us he has the arms of someone who's 6-6 or 6-7."

Montelus said he's hoping to land an offer from Penn State. He has yet to visit either NC State or Virginia.

"Right now UConn is looking better than Syracuse because of the line coach at UConn [Mike Foley] who came to my school last spring," Montelus said. "I get mail from Boston College. BC's a great place to be an offensive lineman."

Everett has two other Division I prospects on its roster: quarterback Jon DiBiaso (coach's son) and linebacker Vondell Langston.

Montelus, who will turn 16 next week, started at the varsity level when he was 14.

"He's just gonna get better," DiBiaso said. "I can tell you my son's happy he's protecting his left side. He's a good boy with good grades. The sky's the limit for him."


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

Worcester's Severin to visit BC on Saturday

September, 1, 2011
9/01/11
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ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today on his recruiting blog with Worcester Academy athlete Canaan Severin, who will take an official visit to Boston College this weekend to watch the Eagles take on visiting Northwestern in the season-opener for both teams.

BC is one of five schools the Marlborough resident is considering, along with UConn, Virginia, Penn State and Iowa.

But as Brown notes, Severin could be getting some pressure from in-state Penn State commits Armani Reeves and Camren Williams, both of Catholic Memorial:


He said he'd like to take at least two official visits, and could take as many as four.

"I've only set up one official visit so far," he said. "I'd like to take my officials and talk to the coaches, but time is a factor. Schools have to fill up their recruiting board."

Severin said he will attend the Penn State-Alabama game on Sept. 10 with two other Massachusetts residents who have committed to Penn State: four-star linebacker Camren Williams (Easton, Mass./Catholic Memorial) and three-star defensive back Armani Reeves (Easton, Mass./Catholic Memorial).

"They really want me to join them [at Penn State]," Severin said. "I'll make my decision when it feels right."


Worcester Acad.'s Severin cuts it to five

August, 17, 2011
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ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today on his recruiting blog with Worcester Academy athlete Canaan Severin, who has cut his list of schools down to five.

The Marlborough resident and three-star prospect has dwindled it down to Boston College, UConn, Penn State, Iowa and Virginia. Brown points to the Penn State pipeline, and how Severin played together with Catholic Memorial teammates and Nittany Lions commits Armani Reeves and Camren Williams down at a 7-on-7 at Rutgers University earlier this year.

Could it be a factor? Brown writes:


Severin, who is being recruited as a receiver, has no official visits scheduled, but said he plans to attend the Sept. 10 game between Alabama and Penn State with Williams and Reeves.

However, Severin made it clear that Penn State is not his clear-cut favorite. He said he likes the coaching staffs at Connecticut and Iowa, talked about the appeal of playing college football in his home state and raved about his trip to Virginia last weekend.

"It went very well," he said. "They want me really bad. It's beautiful down there. Coach [Mike] London is someone you want to be around."

Severin said he would like to take some of his official visits before he makes a decision.

"I want to take at least two, maybe four," he said. "Time is big too, because these schools need to fill up their recruitment board.

"I want to talk to the coaches a little more. Find out what my role will be there and how the school is going to help me other than football. Whenever it feels right I'll make the decision."


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

St. Seb's MacAfee commits to Notre Dame

August, 3, 2011
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ESPN RISE lacrosse editor Mike Loveday is reporting that St. Sebastian's midfielder Dalton MacAfee has verbally committed to Notre Dame for the 2013-14 season.

MacAfee, an incoming junior, won 64 percent of his face offs and had 16 assists and 11 goals last season. He is the second incoming junior from the Needham-based prep school to commit to the Fighting Irish in the last week, joining defender Pat Healy.

Loveday has more on MacAfee's commitment here, partially excerpted below:



ESPN RISE: What other school’s did you consider?
Dalton MacAfee: “Other Schools I considered were Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Virginia and Cornell.”

ER: What made Notre Dame such an attractive choice?
DM: “Notre Dame is such an attractive choice because I feel as though you get the best of everything. Whether it be going to watch football games along with 80,000 other screaming fans, or going to the grotto and lighting a candle to say a prayer, or playing Syracuse in front of a packed house, Notre Dame just gives you the total college experience.”

ER: What surprised you about the recruiting process?
DM: “What really surprised me about the recruiting process was how truly difficult it is to make your final decision. Before the process actually began I always thought that making a choice would be easy, however I never realized that I would have to make a decision not solely based on lacrosse. The coaches I got to know and established relationships with were unbelievable coaches but more importantly, they are men of high character and great role models.”

ER: What one piece of advice would you give to other players who are just starting on the recruiting process?
DM: “One piece of advice I would give to players just starting the recruiting process would be to keep an open mind and to weigh all of your options. As a great man once told me, "The easiest decision may not always be the best decision".”

ER: Is there anything about the recruiting process that you think could change that would have made it easier or less stressful for you?
DM: “If there is one thing I could have changed about the process, it would have been that only one of my dream schools showed interest in me ... not both of them.”


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