The Under Armour All-America game took place this past weekend. As an ardent disciple of I-don't-know-squat-about-recruiting, I watched with half interest as a bunch of cats ran around the field in grotesque uniforms. People other than me, though, actually follow the recruiting scene fairly closely and know more about these players other than "He's pretty tall."
One of those guys is Ty Xanders at Inside Lacrosse. Xanders filed a piece over the weekend that highlighted 10 participants that stood out in his mind. You should read it and stuff. Three of Xanders' highlighted players were interesting to me, mostly because of the situations they'll be entering this fall at their respective schools.
Same Bonafede, Princeton
NORTH - Princeton’s Sam Bonafede, M, Chaminade (N.Y.) - Unofficially named the MVP of the North squad (just now, by me), Bonafede was an animal, scoring five goals and going 22 of 30 at the face-off dot with 10 GB’s. He’s got a never-ending motor and is a grinder at the X, using a low center of gravity and deceptive strength to outwork his opponent, playing great midfield defense in addition. Curious to see what he can do under Chris Bates, as his skill set appears pretty complete and his versatility rather impressive.
The Tigers lost a ton of midfield depth at the close of 2014: Forest Sonnefeldt, Tucker Shanley, Tom Schreiber, Jack Strabo, and Hunter deButts have all departed Princeton for parts known and unknown. Bonafede -- based on Xanders' analysis -- not only has an opportunity to contribute on the offensive end, but could get some runs in through the defensive midfield in the absence of Strabo and deButts. Bonafede could also, presumably, give a hand to Justin Murphy, Jake Froccaro, and Jack O'Brien at the dot. Bonafede gives Princeton options, something the Tigers covet given their graduation losses (even if much still returns in 2015).
Greg Pelton and Peter Welch, Duke
SOUTH - Duke’s Greg Pelton, D, Malvern Prep (Pa.) - The South defense struggled in the first half, however Pelton shouldn’t be looped in there. Gobbling up 10 groundballs on the night, he was an absolute force covering the nation’s best and helping the South with their comeback thanks to his transition play, heavy and precise checks and general positioning to help his goalies in what’s often a shooting gallery. This is all nothing new after watching the Philly native dominate all spring for the Friars. Mark my words: Pelton will be a four-year starter and future All-American.
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SOUTH - Duke’s Peter Welch, LSM/D, Delbarton (N.J.) - The rich get richer on defense, and Welch fits the mold of excellent, athletic and versatile LSMs that the Blue Devils have thrived with. The former hockey standout scooped up nine groundballs, scored a goal on a low-to-high rocket and caused three turnovers, helping propel the South squad to victory. It will be hard for coach John Danowski to keep Welch off the field next year.
Casey Carroll, Henry Lobb, Chris Hipps, Luke Duprey -- they're all gone for Duke going into 2015. While Duke has been stocking the cupboards with talent, the Devils still need to replace the core of its defense going into next season. Brian Dailey and Jamie Ikeda will likely find a place on Duke's defense with a pole, but there are still lots of spots to be filled. Welch and Pelton both have an opportunity to contribute next year given the holes that the Blue Devils are attempting to fill.