3d Blue Chip: South Camp Standouts
3d Rising's recruiting analysis does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the 3d Blue Chip evaluation staff members. No player mentioned in this article is guaranteed an invite to Jake Reed's Nike Blue Chip Camp. In the same vein, a player's absence from this article does not imply he will not receive an invite to Jake Reed's Nike Blue Chip. The selection and invitation process is not impacted by 3d Rising editorial content.
The third weekend of 3d Blue Chip was held last weekend at Northeast Regional Park near Davenport, Fla.
The most recent 3d Blue Chip camp featured mostly players from the South, with attendees from other regions mixed in. The event brought about 300 players to Central Florida for a day and a half of instruction, followed by another day and a half of game play, working with some of the best high school coaches across the country and some of 3d Lacrosseís leading instructors.
Each of the three classes - 2017, 2018 and 2019 - were closely monitored by a pair of 3d Lacrosse's national evaluators, who are tasked with assessing each and every player and his strengths and weaknesses.
3d Rising will be at each of the 3d Blue Chip Camps to watch the best young prospects who are on pace to burst onto the recruiting scene in the next couple of years. If you missed our Northeast and Midwest recaps with standouts, see the links below:
Here are some of the players in the top two class years who stood out over the course of the weekend in both training and game play at the 3d Blue Chip south camp.
Gunner Phillip, Attack, Hoggard (N.C.)/Team Carolina, 2017 Phillip was the best all-around player in the 2017's this week. He came, he saw, he conquered. Throughout the weekend we saw Gunner score grapefruits and dish apples from everywhere on the field. He took his licks and whacks, but was always ready for more - Division I coaches are going to want to keep their eye on this special product hailing from North Carolina.
Ritter Marchant, Midfield, St. Edwards (Fla.)/MadLax, 2017 Marchant is the two-way middie that every program is looking for - he moves like a running back, but is built like a fullback. He showed no wasted movement in his game and is a true north-to-south dodger that has a cannon and will force any goalie to demand his defense to slide early.
Sam Swartz, Goalie, Bronxville (N.Y.)/West Chester Predators, 2017 Swartz had a great poise about him in net all weekend. His outlet passes had a flavor of Larry Bird from the free-throw line, while he displayed strong hand speed that allowed him to attack shots. Swartz has a mid-size frame that is agile and athletic. He gave all offensive players a tough time when they were trying to score from outside of seven yards.
Harrison Wood, Defense, Vero Beach (Fla.)/FCA South Florida, 2017 Wood was like the JJ Watt of the 3d Blue Chip South camp. Very few attackmen dared to drive to the net on this 6-foot-5 powerhouse defensemen. Wood not only made every check count, he also pulled out a variety of nifty moves in traffic with the ball.
Riley Smith, Attack, Christ School (Fla.), 2017 William Iorio, Attack, Christ School (Fla.)/Connecticut Cardinals, 2017 This was a thunder and lightening combination at its finest. Smith and Iorio attacked from behind the cage better than any duo we have seen yet at 3d Blue Chip - if you wanted to create instant chemistry on your college offense, these are the guys that will help kick start it. Smith shot out of the gate on Day 1 with an unprecedented amount of points. He is agile and tough, smoothly showing off a mix of hard-nosed goals and no-look helpers. Iorio played with an aggressive style that incorporated rockers and finalizer dodges that helped set his team up for success.
Choice Mostellar, Attack, Lassiter (Ga.)/Thunder Lacrosse, 2018 With a consistent and productive outing in each contest, Mostellar was arguably one of the most impressive 2018 attackman to date at any of the 3d Blue Chip camps. Smaller, but tough and assertive, Mostellar showed flashes of being a multi-dimensional, high-IQ attackman - he can dodge with his head up, he can feed with pressure on his hands, he can beat defenders off the catch and in transition, he can shoot from outside and finish on the crease. He fights for groundballs. He's a fast, relentless and heady attackman who seemed to do everything well, especially feed with accuracy. In his first outing, he assisted on three straight goals before putting together a hat trick of his own. A couple of those goals saw Mostellar cut to the cage, catch and finish all in one motion. He scored one of his goals while falling to the turf. It seemed every time Mostellar got the ball, good things happened. He tested his defender on each touch, using his back to drive in and keep his head up to see what was happening around him. He routinely made passes off the dodge. He made a really impressive shovel pass to the inside on one series. The right-handed attackman scored an acrobatic goal that was waived off after a tremendous burst and leaping effort. That play showed his nose for the cage and just how hard he was to knock off of his angle. In a later game, Mostellar was again productive in notching at least three points, including two more goals, one of those coming on a jump shot as he drove around the cage.
Chris Cabral, Midfield/FO, St. Paul's (Md.)/Baltimore Crabs, 2018 Cabral was an absolute machine this past weekend at 3d Blue Chip, doing everything at full speed on the field. With fast legs and stamina to seemingly run shift after shift, Cabral was outstanding in taking draws throughout the event, winning a high percentage of his takes. He was able to clamp it quickly and was relentless in his effort to battle for the ball, showing strength to barely budge as his opponents did everything they could to force a 50-50 situation. Cabral - who looks like he runs track - can motor the ball up the field off the face-off victory, making smart passes and forcing the defense to respect him with his speed and penchant for sprinting right to the cage. On defense, Cabral showed off his lateral quickness and his toughness. In transition and off draw wings, he glided and kept the stick up by his ear, quickly making passes right on the money. He also showed change of direction that made him tough to cover. He scored in the first game right out of the gate, winning his first face-off attempt and streaking down the center of the field to the cage. He scored later on a big release from outside. In a later game, he again scored right off the draw. Cabral was arguably the most impactful midfielder in this group, proving to be valuable on offense, on defense and in the middle of the field.
Edward Huffstetler, Defense, Broughton School (N.C.)/Carolina Cannons, 2018 Huffstetler emerged as potentially the top cover defender of the weekend. A tall, swift presence, Huffstetler has the range and foot speed coaches are looking for. He displayed great defense while "staying at home," keeping position but shoving and dropping hard wrap checks and not budging an inch. On one example of this, an evaluator appropriately compared his style of play to Joe Fletcher - not necessarily jumping off the page at first, but playing smart and using his reach and stick to his advantage. Huffstetler has excellent skills with the ball in his stick - great hands and very quick with the ball off the turf. He dropped a couple of big body checks using excellent timing to connect at the right moment and dislodge the ball. He caused a few turnovers in just a couple series in a later game, again using his long range and his effective stick checks to get into the ball carrier's hands and tie them up.
Aidan Callahan, Midfield, Green Hope (N.C.)/Red Devil United, 2018 Callahan is a well-rounded, skilled midfielder who made an impact on both sides of the ball at 3d Blue Chip. He plays a style similar to some of the Canadian midfielders weíve seen come out of the Great White North. With a low center of gravity and his stick seemingly always cocked back to feed or shoot sidearm or underhand, Callahan was a consistent playmaker throughout the weekend, always in a spot to make something happen on offense or defense. He showed toughness in sprinting through traffic and scoring on a low-to-low shot in transition. Seeing the field as he carried the ball from defense to offense, Callahan threaded a pass a few minutes later to set up a goal close to the crease. Defensively, he made several plays to create opportunities for his team, including a great interception on the inside. He can rip the ball, which he displayed on his first goal of the second game with underhand heat.
Jared Mabarak, Defense, Park Wood (N.C.)/Road Warriors, 2018 Mabarak quickly proved to be one of the most well-rounded defenders at the camp. Friday and Saturday in the training sessions, he displayed excellent fundamentals, really quick feet, and toughness in both his physical play and his stick checks. He isn't flashy with the stick, but he very quickly gets the ball in and out and up the field. His athleticism allowed him to match foot speed with any ball carrier he faced. He's a shorter player, but his build helped him get up under his man and his well-timed, well-placed checks helped him make lots of plays throughout the camp. This guy is reminiscent of John Lade when he was in high school. Mabarak is blue collar through and through.
Niklas McFarland, Midfield, Archbishop Spaulding (Md.)/Annapolis Hawks, 2018 McFarland was one of the most physically impressive midfielders in the 2018. A big-bodied, fast midfielder, McFarland was difficult to stop when coming up the field or dodging north to south at the cage. He displayed excellent coordination and balance for a big guy. He had success in coming up with groundballs in traffic. One series saw him come up with the ball just before he was knocked to the turf; he kept possession, avoided checks while on the ground and got himself up to make the pass. A capable face-off man, McFarland won several to himself and showed his power and athleticism in charging down the field. Offensively, he impressed with his ability to get himself into shooting position with a variety of dodges, including a smooth split dodge and very comfortably using his back on roll dodges to come out of it ready to shoot. He was deliberate in opting for bounce shots when on the run or shooting from up top. McFarland's first goal of the games saw him yank a bounce to the top shelf.
Jack Ortolano, Attack/Midfield, North Gwinnett (Ga.)/LB3, 2018 Ortolano possesses a good combination of skills and athleticism and displays high lacrosse IQ. He was impressive in the training sessions on Friday and Saturday. Already a fine-tuned player, Ortolano looked natural in drills and seemed to see plays happening before some of his teammates. Able to quarterback from X, Ortolano impressed too when he was running midfield. He's fast and smooth and can make plays in transition, showing some really sharp passing. In his first game, Ortolano put up a bunch of points, including three assists, one of those a rope of a pass through the defense. He really distributed the ball with confidence. He added a goal when he caught the ball on the crease, froze the goalie with a fake and scored with ease. Ortolano, along with Choice Mostellar and Ben Girolamo, displayed some of the best mechanics of the attackmen in the group.
Lloyd deLatour, Midfield, Greater Atlanta Christian (Ga.)/Thunder Lacrosse, 2018 A big, bruiser of a midfielder, deLatour proved to be a tough matchup from the top of the box. Able to muscle his way through checks and into the defense, deLatour made himself a threat often when he had possession. He was also able to shoot from up high. In his first game, he scored three times, including on a step-down bounce shot, on a bull dodge down the gut and then pulling back from up high and sticking the lower left corner. In his next game, deLatour scored twice, once as he was falling to the turf (still managing to get a shot off) and then with another big windup that came right off a face-off win. Physical and gritty, deLatour was also effective as a short-stick defender, on one play anticipating the pass and checking at the perfect time to force a turnover.
Garrett Leadmon, Midfield, Archbishop Spaulding (Md.)/FCA, 2018 Leadmon is a big and athletic midfielder who displayed lacrosse IQ and excellent shooting and dodging skills. A force coming up the field with his size and speed, Leadmon possesses an outstanding combination of physical abilities and talents with the stick. He fought through checks, used face dodges and rollbacks to attack his defender and showed excellent coordination with his upper body as he threw fakes and constantly mixed up his maneuvers as he went to the rack. Leadman's first goal of Saturday saw him face dodge, roll back and hit the lower left corner with an overhand shot. He scored a goal later by taking a feed, spinning off his man to get a bit of room, then scored with a bouncer despite being collapsed on as he was shooting. He's a powerful player who can push into his man and beat him with fluid movement and effective dodges.
Colin Hall, Attack, Centennial (Ga.)/Thunder Lacrosse, 2018 Hall was a productive and efficient presence at attack this past weekend. He scored three goals in his first game, including a bounce shot that he let go sidearm from way outside as he was hit the turf. He scored in transition with a tricky overhand shot, displaying some of the deception the players were taught leading up to the games. After a hat trick in his first game, Hall put up a goal and two assists in the next contest. He showed a great sense of how to get himself to the cage, on one play beating his man with a perfect inside roll. A smart playmaker, he had a couple of passes (hockey assists) that set up easy goals for his team. Hall has a nice handle and a well-rounded skill set.
Robert "Rawley" Smith, Midfield, Wesleyan School (Ga.)/Georgia Blue Jays, 2018 One of several blue-collar, two-way midfielders shining brightly over the course of the weekend, Smith showed well in Friday and Saturday's training sessions. Though he was fairly quiet in his first outing in playing both sides of the ball, Smith used his athleticism to play solid short-stick defense and was a very tough matchup. But he'd show his offensive abilities in the second contest, driving down the right lane and hammering an overhand shot to the lower left corner. A few minutes later, Smith hit the top shelf with a right-handed bomb from up top. Smith was fast to ground balls and got up the field quickly on the clear and in transition. He got his nose dirty in the middle of the field, too.
Carson Daspit, Defense, The Woodlands (Texas)/Houston Oilers, 2018 Daspit is a wiry, aggressive longstick who was able to challenge his man each time he approached and checked him. Very fast and physical, Daspit was even tough for bigger midfielders to dodge, as he showed on numerous occasions the ability to get some of the taller, stronger looking players hung up. He harasses the ball carrier both by keeping right on them and getting his stick all over their hands and in the passing lane. Daspit showed a great handle off the ground in coming up with loose balls. He had a couple of impressive caused turnovers, including a textbook lift and the ensuing groundball.
Joey Bretz, Defense/LSM, Jupiter (Fla.)/Palm Beach Revolution, 2018 Bretz showed a lot of promise as a tall, athletic defender who used his stick to make plays in different ways. He picked off or batted down a number of feeds and was quick after the groundball. Rangy and fleet-of-foot, Bretz was smooth coming up the field, using a great face dodge on one series to blow right past a riding attackman. His size and footwork made him one of the intriguing defenders from the 3d Blue Chip South camp.
Clayton Miller, Attack, Cumberland Valley (Pa.)/Lax Factory, 2018 Miller shined alongside Choice Mostellar in an off-ball role, exploding in his first game for a monstrous six-goal, two-assist effort. Miller is a gritty, tough little attackman. He has an outstanding stick and a sense for the cage. Several of the goals in his big outing came on inside finishes displaying Miller's interior game. He also showed more range, scoring on righty shots from near the wing. Miller was sneaky and crafty around the cage, on one play using one hand to snag a loose ball and then quickly putting it past the goalie. He was automatic in transition and really seemed to excel playing with Mostellar. Miller's hands were a valuable asset to him this past weekend. One of his more memorable plays came on a groundball followed by a nasty toe drag to dip by a defender.
Others who stood out:
Sam Weiss, Attack, Wando (S.C.)/Topleft Loggerheads, 2017
Brent Bishop, Defense, Memorial (Texas)/Texas United & Dallas Select, 2017
Mason Smith, Defense, Centennial (Md.)/Zingos, 2017
Sam Tanenblatt, Midfield, Pace Academy (Ga.)/Thunder Lacrosse, 2017
Johnathan Romero, Defense, Milton (Ga.)/Thunder Lacrosse, 2018
R. Fenner Pollock, Attack, Montgomery Bell Academy (Tenn.)/No Excuse, 2018
Ben Girolamo, Attack, Pelham (N.Y.)/Long Island Express, 2018
Scott Middleton, Defense, Hereford (Md.)/Baltimore Breakers, 2018
Noah Cash, Defense, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.)/Florida Xtreme , 2018
Peter Mullen, Midfield, Greenwich Country Day (Conn.), 2018
Damon Spiriti, Midfield, Plant (Fla.)/Tampa Tarpons, 2018
Ryan Cockes, Midfield, Starrs Mill (Ga.)/Atlanta Coyotes, 2018
Ryan Leahy, Goalie, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.)/Florida Xtreme, 2018
Sam Metzinger, Attack, Alan C. Pope (Ga.)/Georgia Thunder, 2018
Zach Kenley, Midfield/FO, Marvin Ridge (N.C.)/Road Warriors, 2018
Micah Kane, Goalie, St. Pius (Ga.), 2018
Brenden Crouse, Midfield, Boys' Latin (Md.)/Baltimore Breakers, 2018
Luke Firlie, Defense, Calvert Hall (Md.)/FCA, 2018
Lukas Kott, Midfield, Lake Highland (Fla.)/Braveheart, 2018
Sean Donnelly, Attack, Johns Creek (Ga.)/Atlanta Crush, 2018
Matt Elder, Attack, Lake Norman (Md.)/Lake Norman United, 2018
George Prince, Attack, IMG Academy (Fla.)/LB3 Monsters, 2018
Noah Johnson, Goalie, Northview (Ga.)/Georgia Outlaws, 2018
Christian Cisneros, Attack, Lake Highland (Fla.)/Team Florida, 2018
Aidan Fitzgerald, Defense, Stone Bridge (Va.)/MadLax, 2018
Ethan Denenberg, LSM/Defense, Benjamin School (Fla.)/Palm Beach Revolution, 2018
Austin Hamilton, Defense, Memphis University School (Tenn.)/No Excuse, 2018
Hunter Vines, Midfield, Christ School (Fla.)/Dukeís, 2018
Ewan Temple, Attack, Frank W. Cox (N.J.)/V3 Lacrosse, 2018