EDITORS NOTE: On Tuesday's, ESPNHS release a new lacrosse story in the Recruiting Road series – featuring college coaches' answers to some of the most asked recruiting questions.
Technological advancements such as e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and instant-messaging along with the growth of summer camps and the increase in early commitments are part of the intensity and pressure that comes with modern-day college recruiting for high school lacrosse players.
How players and coaches adjust, manage and navigate the process can spell the difference between the achievement of success and failure.
ESPN High School asked six college coaches to examine the changes in the way players are recruited today as opposed to a decade ago.
ESPNHS: How competitive is recruiting now compared to 10 years ago?
John Paul, Michigan
"As a new Division I head coach, that's a hard one for me to answer. My sense is that it's more competitive in the sense that the process is happening so much faster and earlier. But on the other hand, there is a lot more talent out there than there was 10 years ago."
Dave Pietramala, Johns Hopkins
"Achieving success in this area is more challenging than ever before. The level of resources schools are committing, the amount of time coaches are putting in and the increased pace has really made recruiting more competitive. We also feel that the desire for coaches and players to make decisions and to firm up commitments makes the recruiting landscape much different than years prior. The recruiting landscape will continue to grow and will undoubtedly put greater pressure on all involved."
Bill Tierney, Denver
"We are now recruiting sophomores and juniors in order to get commitments from future All-Americans before they have their driver's license, have gone to a prom, or in some cases, have played in a varsity high school game. The good news is that recruiting is a very subjective process and many mistakes are made. That can leave many great recruits for the picking, even in their senior year of high school."
Charley Toomey, Loyola
"First there, is the sheer number of camps. Second, there is the fact that kids are playing all over the country, creating an opportunity as well as a challenge for college coaches to be more places throughout the summer. Student-athletes are making their decisions much earlier than 10 years ago. No longer do they have the ability to take their five official visits in the fall of their senior year. That's a shame."
Jon Torpey, High Point
"I would say that the recruiting process is a bit more competitive with coaches in lacrosse taking on more of a Division I football-basketball mentality to how they go about getting information to student-athletes, their timing and the sheer volume of information a student-athlete receives. The difference in the means of communication is obviously more abundant as well with things like e-mail and Twitter, which may have not been as prevalent 10 years ago. More importantly though, I would say the process itself has drastically changed. With early commitments now happening in student-athletes sophomore and junior years, it has really forced people to evaluate how they want to manage the process. Some schools will fill their classes before student athletes enroll in their junior years of school. Some wait until after their junior summer, and some split where they get half before their junior season and half after. There is no exact science, and like the game of golf, every time you think you've figured it out, you shoot a 125 the next time out."
Dave Webster, Dickinson College
"Most significantly, the time-line has changed. Most of our recruiting class will be committed prior to the start of their senior year. This is a dramatic change from just a few years ago. There are many more qualified players, and most are looking earlier and assessing the fit much sooner in the process."
Next week: How important is a head coach's presence at camps?
Also upcoming: The importance of a recruit's playing style at a camp, and how coaches view a recruit's ability to play other sports besides lacrosse.