Jake Reed's Nike Blue Chip 2019 Standouts: 2015 Edition
The annual recruiting event of the summer, Jake Reed's series of Nike Blue Chip camps were held over the last week at UMBC in Catonsville, just outside of Baltimore. Making it back to the Charm City after more time out at events across the country, 3d Rising attended almost every single session of the 2018 and 2019 camps, which saw Division I recruiters lining the sidelines to get a look at some of the best up-and-coming talent.
The 2019 camp was a chance for 3d Rising to get another look at some of the young players who participated at the five 3d Blue Chip camps held in January. At those camps, 3d Rising watched as much of the 2018s and 2019s as possible to have a better understanding of them before we focused on the high school season and then returned to the recruiting scene this summer.
Our first report looks at the 2019s. These players drew recruiters from all but a few of the top Division I college programs, with more than 20 schools on hand to watch.
Editor's note: I've been at Jake Reed's rising freshman camp the last two summers and was the writer who first wrote about this group of players the last couple years. Two years ago, I recall seeing less than five Division I coaches at the event. Last summer, it was somewhere in the range of a dozen or so. This year, more than 20 recruiters were on hand to see the talented group of players entering the scholastic scene.
Below, we look at the players who – from our perspective - really shined at the event, which consisted of five sessions across three days at UMBC. We tried to snap photos of as many players as possible, but the weather wasn't optimal, so only some of the highlighted players have photos included here.
Stay tuned for more from the Nike Blue Chip camps.
Christian Mule, Attack, Half Hollow Hills (N.Y.)/Team 91 Mule was perhaps the most skilled attackman at the camp, showing incredible stick skills, excellent body control while dodging and a compact build that makes him deceivingly difficult to mark, even for the strongest defenders. Mule can get up inside his man and operate with his stick low and away from him. He has high-level stick handling, able to fight through some checks, come out of it and redodge or put a pass on a teammate's ear. Mule played numerous sports leading up to this year and his limber nature as a dodger shows what all the work has done for him. He's a smaller statured attackman at this point, but definitely strong and his size helps him in that he's deceptively tough and operates in a small space really well. Some of his best work was with his defender draped all over the top of him. He looked calm, persevered and made plays. Mule's seven-goal, three-assist performance on Friday at the camp was one of the best performances I've seen since I started coming to Jake Reed's camps. How did he score? How didn't he score. He kept his bottom hand to his hip, powered top side and got past checks with ease. He caught and finished. He inside rolled his man, getting even the biggest defenders hung up and finishing on the crease. He curled up top for a jump shot. He scored falling to the ground. He drove from the wing, drew the double and floated a perfect pass to an already-stepping down teammate. Mule did it all just off that left post. He's incredibly talented. A member of a respected lacrosse family, Christian is the son of Team 91 director Jimmy Mule and the younger brother of the Duke-bound Cam Mule. For all of that, Christian seems like a humble kid who just plays the game at a very high level.
Dan Maltz, Attack, Stone Bridge (Va.)/Black Wolf and SweetLax There was no attackman more precise, more crisp, as a feeder and off-ball player than Dan Maltz, the younger brother of current Maryland attackman Dylan Maltz and former Syracuse attackman Derek Maltz. The youngest Maltz, like Derek at his age, is still thin, but his understanding of the game is impressive as he was able to quarterback his team effectively throughout the three days and produced a lot of points along the way. He can finish on the crease and inside mid-range like Derek, showing seemingly pre-programmed quick stick but also the ability to crank up and hit the top shelf repeatedly with the same release from the wing. But he is also effective initiating like Dylan with a quick first step, keeping his head up and looking to move the ball with his hard passes. The ball was in and out of his stick in transition, where he was dangerous. The righty just knows where to be off ball, a lot like his oldest brother. He is always looking for a way to make a play, with and without the ball. He was one of the most productive attackmen whenever he was on the field, very unselfish in making the extra pass, and he can do it deceptively and almost machine-like with his consistent mechanics. Dan The Man was a standout at other events we attended this summer, so look for more on him.
Mark Hand, Midfield, Briarwood Christian School (Ala.)/3d Colorado Similar in some ways to his older brother, Wilson, a Maryland commit, Mark Hand might be even more intriguing at this stage given his 6-foot-1 frame and big, long legs that help him get up and down the field and make him a horse when dodging the alley. Hand hustles on every play and has an early physical advantage over many of his peers. But coaches aren't interested in him only for his size; the younger Hand works hard on every shift, battles for ground balls, bursts up the field and never seems to turn off the motor. That helped him make plays in the middle of the field, breaking up more than one clear that I witnessed (I've witnessed a lot of this sort of play from Hand this year). He is a grinder, but has the physical attributes - size, speed, strength - of midfielders pursued by the top Division I programs. He hails from a non-hotbed (to the say the least), but has played enough summer ball to offset the IQ differential relative to his peers. Coaches have been watching this kid already this summer, as he lit it up at the Denver Shootout too. Hand is rumored to be one of the rising freshman already receiving some form of a ìscholarshipî or "spot" offer from Division I programs. It isn't all that shocking when you stand near him and understand what coaches are seeing.
Scott Bower, Defense, Episcopal School of Dallas (Texas)/Texas Mustangs A lot of the interest in this player began back at 3d Blue Chip and that carried over into buzz this past weekend at the Nike Blue Chip event. Bower is a 6-foot-2 defender with excellent athleticism for his age. Combining his size, strength and legs - he's got a frame that already looks like a varsity football player's - Bower is a unique prospect at this early stage and likely beyond. The big lefty from Dallas would have a massive reach/wing span among varsity players, so it's understandable that he can easily keep attackmen in his age range under GLE with ease. But it's not just about him overpowering others who haven't developed as much yet; it's about his technique and his consistency in his one-on-one approach. Early on in the 2019 session, Bower was tested in some off-ball situations by smaller, sneaky attackmen. But that happened early on, and I didn't see him in the same trouble again at the camp. And his individual defense was outstanding as he just became a wall that no one could budge, throwing heavy checks just at the moment most attackmen realized he wasn't backing down and that his feet are quick in all directions. Bower looks like a premiere athlete. Most likely a varsity player as a freshman next spring, Bower is already a target for most of the elite Division I programs. Bower's name was known as far back as last fall when he traveled east with the Texas Mustangs 2018 squad, playing up a year.
Lance Tillman, Attack, Valor Christian (Colo.)/3d Colorado Tillman is another player who has already become well known to coaches this summer and even before then. Tillman is a small attackman, but plays with a non-stop, 90-miles-an-hour approach but somehow seems to still make smart plays while going like a bat out of hell. The little lefty has a knack for reaching full speed in just a couple steps and throwing moves at his defender and pressing extremely hard from X. He can and will score just above GLE, and it's been impressive to see him do it against good defenders. Take some Joey Sankey, throw in a little Matt Kavanaugh and a sprinkle of Dylan Donahue and I think you're looking at a player who fits the new hipster mold of attackmen - small, incredibly smart, super fast stick, relentless presence around the cage. Tillman has all of that and his quickness helps him just be a threat at all times to break down a defender, especially if he gets the ball in transition. Tillman's stick is so fast -- you see it in how he releases a shot and moves the ball to teammates. His go-go-go nature makes it a sloppy show sometimes for defenders as they try to hang with Tillman, who could very well be the most reliable of the attackman in the group coaches are already pursuing in this class. Tillman's a treat to watch and he put up points in a variety of ways at Blue Chip, most often breaking down the defense from X.
Elijah Myers, Midfield, MICDS (Mo.)/Promo Lacrosse Be ready to hear about "this kid from Missouri" coaches are going crazy about. A typical coach reaction to Myers at Blue Chip was something like: "Who is THAT?" He's a 6-foot-2, 175 pound righty who can already shoot on the run and might already have Division I athleticism. Myers has better hands than you think upon first watching. His overall stick skills are raw like some Midwestern players, but with the rest of his attributes, he was putting it all together in bursts at the camp, becoming one of the most talked about players. Rumors abound of various programs already expressing interest in Myers, who displayed tremendous quickness and north-south speed. His height allowed him to protect his hands and shot motion if he wanted to set his feet, which we saw on a few occasions as he let it fly from long range and turned heads with impressive placement several times. Myers also sprinted down the alley and scored, as he was outrunning and overpowering most. He's a player who is clearly still developing his skills and understanding, but what a story his could be to follow. Myers' size and speed will make him a force all over the field, but his offensive contributions this past weekend projects his tremendous potential on that side of the ball.
Van Parker, Attack, Broughton (N.C.)/Team 91 Parker is a big, hard-nosed attackman who really came on over the course of the camp. He's a physical dodger, constantly challenging his defender with his large frame and his hard takes to the cage. And that's the first thing you notice - a big fella with hair flying out the back of the helmet, just crashing to the cage from X or the wing and making defenders, most of them not yet up to his size or strength, break down as he essentially ran through them. Parker is crafty too, able to finish close to the cage as he bangs bodies and has sticks coming at him. This mysterious but intriguing player did what all players should strive for at these events, and that's played his best (or at least very well) at the end of the camp. With the rain pouring down, Parker put on another show that really spoke to his toughness and the IQ potentially masked by his size and power. He scored on a drive from X, nailing the top shelf as he crossed GLE - it wasn't his first goal like that. Then he scored a really slick goal: getting himself to 5-and-5 with the stick in his left - rather than rolling back right - he simply turned, looked at the cage and popped a funky backhand shot past the goalie's hip to score. Some of his other goals included a drive from X, running over his defender to get right in the goalie's face. Given his decent size and that he moves as well as he does, and when you add in his relentless style, Parker emerges early on as a great looking prospect in this class.
Connor Mitchell, Midfield, Buford (Ga.)Thunder Lacrosse Grant Mitchell, Midfield, Buford (Ga.)/Thunder Lacrosse These twins, two towering bruisers, were without question among the most eye-catching specimens on hand. Hailing from down South, the Mitchell twins were physical and quick to ground balls on the defensive side, but were also each a matchup nightmare dodging the lane and displaying both power and touch as shooters. It would be easy at first glance to assume these two have a major impact at this level only because they are bigger, stronger at the moment than most others. But what I saw this past weekend was two smart players who got a lot done with effort and using their heads, and their size and legs certainly bolstered their performance. Connor, wearing number 74 at the event, impressed with play between the lines, one time riding a sprinting player out of bounds on the ride. He was in the mix on all things physical - ground ball battles, defense, riding. More and more, I noticed how good his hands were - he once snagged a loose ball and quickly put a pass upfield on the money. In one game, Connor scored twice; one was a lefty drive down the alley, the other saw him drive to his right and switch back to his left to score with a bouncer. In another game, he led a fastbreak and pushed the ball over for hockey assist. Grant's team used him on the wing a few times, where number 75 rumbled in to secure possession. Like Connor, he showed how hard he was to stop dodging the alley, scoring on the run on more than one occasion and changing up his shots. Regardless of which one did what at the camp, both Mitchells display high upside.
Gavin Tygh, Face-Off/Midfield, Penn Charter (Pa.)/Big Four Tygh was like an elite pinch hitter or something for his team at Blue Chip. He was the most impressive overall face-off man of the group. Tall and physical, Tygh won a whole bunch of face-offs out to himself and then trucked down the turf to create chaotic offense for his squad. The Hammer wasn't going to be stopped, as he scored numerous goals just a moment after winning the draw out front to himself. He's a rugged middie who has experience from playing as an 2018 last year on the recruiting circuit. Willing to battle for a groundball he doesn't snag on the face-off, Tygh keeps the stick right by his ear when he carries down the gut, and it helped him be the biggest threat of any draw man at the 2019 camp. And he was without question one of the most consistent in terms of just winning face-offs, which is the name of the game.
Mitchell Pehlke, Attack, Stone Bridge (Va.)/Fellowship of Christian Athletes Pehlke shined at 3d Blue Chip and then had a good showing at Jake Reed's Nike Blue Chip Camp. A sturdy, fundamentally sound right-handed quarterback attackman, he's able to dodge to feed or score, showing smarts as a ball carrier and choosing good times to attack from X. The son of one of Virginia's all-time greats, Kevin Pehlke, and the younger brother of a defender, Jake, heading to Monmouth, Pehlke lets the game come to him as a facilitator when the ball's humming around. He sees the field and protects its when its in his stick, but rarely keeps it there too long unless heís on his way to the cage. His compact but athletic build helps him when he does decide to dodge, as he can be explosive, which we saw on numerous occasions as he got a step from X and scored just past GLE. I like how he uses his shoulders and frame to shield himself as he dodges. It makes him a tough cover even for the better defenders in his age group. He was playing with some good attackman and showed willingness to share the ball. Pehlke was outstanding at 3d Blue Chip and had a lot of eyes on him at Jake Reed's Nike Blue Chip event.
Jake Bonomi, Midfield, St. Anthony's (N.Y.)/Long Island Express Bonomi could be that next Long Island midfielder (think Sean Kuttin at Chaminade) to sort of defy reason and become an early commit despite being what some would consider undersized. If that happens, it's because he plays big, with heart and with smarts. He was one of the most difficult midfielders to stop at the camp despite being smaller than most. He dodges to his right extremely hard and has great form to his cradle as he sweeps or heads downhill. He was gritty in that when he'd meet a double or run into trouble, he'd just roll back the other way, maybe even faster than he started. He dodged tough. It's that simple. And he's talented with the stick such that he buried most of his shots, some of them on the run. In two or three games games, defenses had challenges with Bonomi as he scored numerous times on alley dodges, showing off good quickness and coordination each time as well as a knack for scoring.
Michael Grogan, Defense/LSM, Episcopal (Va.)/MadLax Grogan stood out as one of the most well rounded defensive prospects at the camp. He's a tough, wiry defender who is always active in one-on-one defense and when the ball's on the turf. Grogan is athletic, and he showed that just about any time he went after a loose ball or cleared out. Grogan is quick and shined in his approach and movement with ball carriers. He was literally everywhere - anytime the ball was on the ground, he was there and more often than not came up with it. You look at Grogan and see he's an athlete - strong frame, muscular legs, good speed. Then you see how many times he was involved in putting the ball on the turf, picking it up and getting it up the field and you see his impact. He made a couple of interceptions that showed he just sees what's happening on the field and he's talented enough to do something about it. And a few times on the clear he ran into traffic, and his stick skills were advanced as he dipped, spun and ran his way free. He was one of my favorite defensive prospects at this camp and has Division I potential written all over him.
Alex Slusher, Attack, Oregon Episcopal School (Ore.)/3d Oregon Slusher is a right-handed attackman who is both well-rounded in terms of his skill set and his athleticism. He can dodge from X, showing explosiveness and protecting the stick to shoot or feed. He can shoot with time and room or cutting to open space. He's got soft hands and moves the ball quickly. And he rides hard on every chance. He was having a field day working with his fellow attackmen (he helped make his group one of the more fluid and productive lines). Easily one of the most consistent attackmen at the camp, we lost track of Slusher's points as so much offense seemed to flow through him. He never ran out of energy, which meant that every time he touched the ball, whether dodging or simply catching, taking a step and popping it to the next guy, he was testing his defender. His fundamentals are all there. He's crisp with the stick, he's non-stop on the dodge and he's always quick to see teammates and move the ball. Watching him in transition - the seemingly second-nature passes, the accuracy of the ball - was a sight. I saw Slusher playing in California back in December at the Oceanside Hustle and he seems to have improved immensely even since then. His ceiling appears quite high.
Jackson Davis, Attack/Midfield, Hoover (Ohio)/Big Dog Lacrosse David had a good showing at 3d Blue Chip and turned that into a bit of a breakout performance at Jake Reed's Nike Blue Chip Camp. A strong, sturdy athlete who can play both attack and midfield, Davis emerged with his consistency as an offensive presence. He was efficient when he had chances and unselfish when he didn't. At first glance you might think he's a two-way player, but he is accurate as a shooter and a passer, able to get to shots and see the field. He is excellent at using his back to get to the position he wants against a defender. In one game playing attack, he assisted on a feed across the crease and finished a feed across the crease. Davis, whose older brother is also a physical specimen, looks like he will develop into a tough, well built player - the kind you'd expect to come out of Ohio. Davis, another player who just sort of kept his mouth shut and went to work, was especially impressive toward the end of the camp. He scored and assisted on goals in set offense and transition, and he showed he could create problems for defenses when run out of the box. Fundamentally sound, I saw parts of Davis' game at Blue Chip that I didn't see in January, and it painted him as a more dynamic player. Coaches should see what he can do as a dodger from X, but what he did as a north-south player late in the camp shows just as much promise. Jackson's father, Jim, coaches lacrosse. Jackson's lifelong involvement with the game is paying dividends.
Michael Colpack, Attack, Episcopal School of Dallas (Texas)/3d Colorado and Sentry Lacrosse Colpack is a high-IQ, talented left-handed attackman who got better and better over the course of the camp, similar to his improvement in the last year. This kid has come on and become an effective, dynamic presence down low. He can feed consistently as he positions himself well to come up from X or out on the wing and whip the ball. He has a strong left-handed cradle and can take it through checks as he drives up. He can score from low angles, showing accuracy as a shooter and great hands. He likes the low-to-high or low-to-off-hip shots; he always seems to have the stick cocked back and ready to pass or shoot. Colpack gets others involved and he moves a lot, using his good legs to I think Colpack is capable of much more than we saw at the camp as he was all about playing team ball. When he started to initiate and assert himself more as the camp went on, he showed that he could be a threat in numerous ways, with and without the ball, as both a passer and a shooter. Colpack's build and the pop in his step might indicate he can play all over the field. But as an attackman at Blue Chip, he scored on feeds, he made feeds, he beat defenders from X, he carried and looked to get the defense moving and he shot well - he showed well across a lot of areas.
Owen Murphy, Attack, Medfield (Mass.)/3d New England Murphy is another attackman who recruiters knew about heading into the event and one 3d Rising has seen a lot lately. One of several lacrosse players in his family, Murphy is talented with his stick and made some of the most electrifying plays at the event. He is an exceptional shooter, able to finish the ball with a flash near the crease and from mid-range. His stick has flare, and when he uses that to his advantage, it can help him deceive defenses. He is sneaky, and like some of the elite attackman, always toys with his defenders and keeps them on guard. He can set up plays that will go unnoticed, putting his defender in a tough spot to get the adjacent to cheat, quickly moving the ball. Murphy can surprise defenders with a straight ahead dodge, using a quick burst and change of direction, or get them to overcommit by posting up against them as he works to the cage. He is crafty and, though still pretty skinny, goes after the ball on the turf and has an overall toughness to his game - he is, afterall, a little brother. We've seen Murphy light it up this summer, as have Division I coaches, and so to see him press it at Blue Chip and try to make exciting plays was not surprising nor was it a turnoff. He made some of the most memorable plays at the camp, including finding the net with two no-look shots, catching and firing in one motion while cutting from X, a la Dylan Donahue. He also scored a really nasty goal that, even though called off for a crease violation, was really impressive as he threw a big fake that went into a face dodge to dip by his defender and smash the ball into the high part of the net as he flung to the turf.
Nick Harris, Midfield, Dublin Coffman (Ohio)/Resolute Lacrosse Harris had an excellent run at Nike Blue Chip as a talented, consistent dodger from the midfield. We were writing his name down a lot, watching him use his speed to get down the alley to get to his left hand. He has an athletic build and can shoot the ball hard. He made it look easy on a few plays. His legs are strong and his shot is accurate and hard enough that he's instantly a threat to score when playing against his peers. A bright sign for this lefty is that I saw him willingly go to his right hand when his feet where chugging and he was going at his man. Harris' combination of physical attributes and burgeoning skill will attract Division I recruiters.
John Schreiber, Midfield, Iona Prep (N.Y.)/Long Island Express North There was no midfielder more throwback than this guy. Fitting all definitions of "grinder," Schreiber probably played as hard as any player at the camp, if not harder. A tall, big old-school midfielder who did all the dirty work and then some, Schreiber was an impact player on both sides of the ball, though it was never flashy. Standing about six feet tall with a big body almost like a lineman in football, Schreiber was tough to beat when he was marking opposing midfielders, getting his big frame into a stance and pushing out low on the hips and slapping the gloves. He gave it all going after ground balls and galloping up the field. Offensively, he showed smarts in keeping his stick high, testing his defender and then quickly moving the ball. Schreiber might not have caught everyone's eye because the work he was doing is easy to miss. But he looks chock full of potential to me - a smart player who will grow into his body and turn into a monster of a midfielder. His father, Chris, played at Johns Hopkins back in the 1980s, and John has inherited lacrosse IQ from him and through the Long Express program.
Ethan Hennessey, Midfield, Culver Military Academy (Ind.)/True Lacrosse Hennessey jumped out to me early on as a good-sized midfielder who, despite being a little bit raw, still understood the importance of keeping his stick up high near the ear while dodging to the cage. This South Carolina product is big already, standing six feet tall and 175 pounds. He keeps his arms up in the sky as he face dodges through traffic. His hands and shooting might make you think heís heading to Culver from the North, not the South, as he was efficient in his first game with good placement low and away as defenders tried to close in on him. Twice in his first game, he scored with sticks up around his head. He just kept good form and his size helped him operate with some space. This kid could come out of nowhere for Culver.
Edward Arnold, Defense, Manhasset (N.Y.)/Long Island Express Arnold wasn't flashy, nor was he overly active in attacking the ball carrier. But he was tough as nails and was really hard to budge. Everything about this guy, including his name, feels blue collar. And that's how he played defense - he put in work. Arnold put his stick in spots to get the ball carrier hung up, and never gave them too much space. You needed to see him go against some of the better - maybe even the best - attackman at the camp to see what he's capable of. When he was in that matchup, he caused a turnover and came up with the groundball. Arnold was consistent all weekend in both his fundamentals and his overall performance.
Collin Penn, Midfield, Eden Prairie (Minn.)/Team Minnesota Penn was outstanding at the camp as a well-rounded midfielder who has great potential on the offensive side of the field but played high-level short-stick defense too. As an iniatiator, Penn used face dodges to consistently get inside and he would persevere to get to better places to shoot. He is an athletic player who just seemed to find a way to get down the field and threaten to score many times at the camp. Another compliment to Penn is that he played better, it appeared, as the weekend moved along. He was productive on both sides of the ball, perhaps more so on offense as he scored goals throughout the event to earn some marks in recruiters' notepads.
Macklin Fitzpatrick, Attack, Dover Sherborn (Mass.)/3d New England Fitzpatrick gradually stood out as one of the best overall attackman at the camp. He is wise off the ball; he found himself on the receiving end of a lot of feeds from his teammates. The lefty is smooth in going to his off hand, and he showed quickness in everything he was doing, including hustling - his effort led to all sorts of opportunities, including in unsettled situations and transition. The ball was in and out of his stick. He was always moving and looking for open space. And he buried shots when he had them. Fitzpatrick was one of several smaller, but skilled, intelligent attackman at the camp. He was a multi-point producer in numerous games.
Jake Engelke, Attack, Seton Hall Prep (N.J.)/Patriot Engelke is a smaller attackman, but brings a lot of tools to the table. When dodging, he's slippery and shifty. He can pass while throwing moves on his defender. And he has a quick release with time and room or off the catch, even if going full speed. He put up points in all sorts of ways at Blue Chip after a good showing at 3d Blue Chip down south. In his first game, he scored on an overhand blast off a feed out on the wing. Then he scored with a really nice collection of moves, rolling back inside, fading away, jumping and putting the ball inside the far post. He scored another goal in the same game with an easy-looking inside roll. He was heady and productive and most likely caught some attention.
Carter Hilleary, Midfield, St. Francis DeSales (Ohio)/Resolute Lacrosse I loved the way Hilleary dodged, showing excellent body control and keeping it together as defenders whacked away at him. He's not big, but athletic and skilled. His speed made him a standout from the face-off wing, where he was very fast to get to the ball and take it down to start offense. He went all the way to score late in the camp. Earlier in the camp, Hilleary impressed with his ability to get down the middle, breaking down defenses.
Joseph Destro, Defense, Don Bosco Prep (N.J.)/Patriot Lacrosse All I could think of when I read the name was the GI Joe evildoer with the classy bouffant red neck roll. And it might have been appropriate given Destro's villainous presence on the defensive end of the field. A stocky, strong looking defender, he was one of the players we saw make many trips up the field on the clear throughout the weekend. When he started scoring goals, I realized he wasn't just a big kid bringing it down the field. Destro is a savvy, skilled defender who used his physical strength (hard checks, tough play) to put the ball on the turf and his good stick to get it off the ground and up the field. His first goal was a Hideo Nomo-like windup that went to the top left corner. He did the same thing again later. This kid is a warrior and I'd want him on my team.
Quinn Roff, Defense, San Marcos (Calif.)/3d San Diego Roff showed a good combination of size and checking abilities as he became one of the more noticeable defensive players at the camp. Standing six feet tall and 175 pounds, his size made him a rough matchup for some of the smaller attackman. Roff took the risk of going over the head on one play and took the ball away, but that turned out to be the only time he attempted it. More often, he stayed home and looked in good position as most attackman said "no thanks" and moved the ball along. He came out of a crowded scrum with the ball and cleared out - he looked athletic and confident running up the field. His size and play making likely caught some attention.
Gabe Galbraith, Defense, Highland Park (Texas)/Texas Mustangs There are numerous talented defensive prospects in this class and Galbraith was another on the field at Blue Chip for 2019s. A wiry, fast and sharp long pole, Galbraith used his speed and wise decisions with the stick to make plays on the back half throughout the camp. He's still got a lot of weight to put on his frame, but he has the feet already to make coaches notice. He was active and aggregated caused turnovers and ground balls throughout the event. His stick definitely stands out. The combination of quickness, IQ and good hands makes him valuable on the field. He also has good size at about six feet tall.
Xander Martin, Defense, Gilman (Md.)/FCA Martin is so intriguing, as he emerged at the camp as one of the more effective defenders, used both as a close guy and on the wings. He's not big, but is so annoying to the ball carrier as he drapes him with checks. He's kind of nasty too, definitely showing a mean side at 3d Blue Chip and then this past weekend. Lacrosse historians might see some North Carolina logos on his gear and realize they're looking at the son of Alex Martin, an All-American Tar Heels defender in the early 1990s. His son displays an understanding of timing on checks and where to place them. It makes him a pest of a defender in his age group. He came up with a kinds of ground balls and made numerous plays in the middle of the field and the back half. He stripped ball carriers and got the ball back himself on numerous occasions .
Matt Angelo, FO/Midfield, IMG Academy (Fla.)/Leading Edge Angelo's allure stems from the fact he's a consistent face-off man, but also displays good athleticism and lacrosse skills. He won a high percentage of the draws he took. What he did with the ball after might have been just as important as he demonstrated good stick skills and carried with confidence. He tore it up at 3d Blue Chip and had a solid showing at Nike Blue Chip, where he was one of the better overall draw men. Recruiters were treated to a few overtime games at Blue Chip. One of those saw Angelo win the all-important draw out to himself. He won draws in various ways throughout the tournament and made contributions after doing so. He scored at least once by shoving it out to himself and streaking in to connect on the run.
Christian Tomei, Goalie, Oxbridge Academy (Fla.)/Palm Beach Revolution It's challenging for the goalies at these camps, because the lacrosse is very free-flowing and it results in a lot of tough shots faced by these young netminders. To me, it was a very level group. I had impressive saves marked down for each of the dozen players hopping in cage; these players were well vetted and all are likely to receive interest from Division I programs. But the one who I will remember most will be Tomei, who put on one of the best performances in the late afternoon on Friday as his team clung to a tie score and was playing defense for a long stretch at the end of regulation. Tomei, who is a 6-foot-tall, 185-pound presence in the cage, made electrifying saves down the stretch. He stopped a point blank shot by a streaking midfielder with seconds left in regulation, stepping right to the ball and popping it up. Then in overtime, he again faced shots and would ultimately turn aside a rising low-to-high shot from just to his right to preserve the tie. It was heat and he saw it the whole way. He also threw some pinpoint bombs while clearing. His size, his clearing tosses and his cold-blooded nature under pressure made for a memorable showing.
Other Standouts: Emmett Barger, Attack, St. Anne's Belfield School (Va.)/MadLax
Jake Beeken, Midfield, St. Isidore (Calif.)/Alcatraz Outlaws, West Coast Starz, ADVNC
Harrison Berke, Defense, Lady Bird Johnson (Texas)/3d Arizona
Nick Bevacqua, Phillips Academy Andover (Mass.)/3d New England
Michael Bowler, Midfield, Cherry Creek (Colo.)/3d Colorado
Thomas Dean, Defense, W.T. Dwyer (Fla.)/Palm Beach Revolution
Lake de la Fuenta, Midfield, Westlake (Texas)/Texas United
Sean Derby, Defense, St. Anthony's (N.Y.)/Long Island Express
Seth Devon, Defense, San Marcos (Calif.)/3d San Diego
Justin Douenias, Midfield, Glen Rock (N.J.)/Tri-State
Greyson Feick, Defense, LSM/Defense, St. Mark's (Texas)/Firehawks LC and 3d NorCal
Martin Folan, Defense, Boston College High School (Mass.)/Top Gun Littlenecks
Joey Ford, Williston Northhampton (Mass.)/3d New England
Peter Garno, Midfield, Haverford School (Pa.)/Mesa Fever Fresh
Andrew Giovinco, Attack/Midfield, Syosset (N.Y.)/Team 91
Jack Goller, Midfield, St. John's Lutheran School (Calif.)/ADVNC Lacrosse
Max Horton, Defense, Academy for Science and Design (N.H.)/NH Tomahawks
John Killian, Midfield, All Saints Catholic School (Fla.)/Palm Beach Revolution
Malcolm Klingbell, Midfield, Columbus Academy (Ohio)/Resolute Lacrosse
Zach Lee, Defense, Penn Charter (Pa.)/Big Four HHH
Bear Lockshin, Cardigan Mountain School (N.H.)/3d New England
Ned Lynch, Defense, The Fessenden School (Mass.)/Top Gun Littlenecks
Coleman Marlatt, Defense, Episcopal (Va.)/Carolina Cannons
Patrick McIntosh, Attack, Palo Alto (Calif.)/3d NorCal
MacGregor Peterson, Attack, Taft School (Conn.)/3d New England
Ryan Schriber, Defense, Wilton (Conn.)/Long Island Express North
Evan Wayno, Midfield, Jesuit (Ore.)/3d Oregon
Stephen Zupicich, Defense, Fordham Prep (N.Y.)/Long Island Express North