May 1, 2009

Part One (Sept. 2008) Free Fall? | Peer Review: Shannon Smith
Part Two (Oct. 2008): Passport to Campus | Peer Review: Gordie Wells
Part Three (Nov. 2008): Too Vested in Verbals? | Peer Review: Lily Ricci
Part Four (Dec. 2008): Piece of the Pie | Peer Review: Ilyssa Meyer
Part Five (Feb. 2009): Best Foot Forward
Part Six (March 2009): Camp Stories | Peer Review: What Camp Best Fits Me?
Part Seven (April 2009): Be True to Your School?
Part Eight (May 2009): Transfer of Power | Peer Review: Q&A with an Early Commit
Part Nine (October 2009): Are You the Diamond in the Rough? | Think D-III
Part Ten (November 2009): Me Time | Peer Review: Kayleigh Hynes

Recruiting is a topic on which families, prospects, coaches and others expend considerable resources, time and emotion. Lacrosse Magazine will delve into many of the sub-topics involved in a series of articles, augmented by personal stories from young men and women that have recently completed or are in the midst of the recruiting process.

Part Eight of the series examines case studies in which early decisions are not always the best decisions. This article appears in the May issue of LM. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 300,000-plus members today to start your monthly subscription.

Recruiting U: A Q&A with an Early Commit

by Clare Lochary | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

Rex Sanders of Eastview (Minn.) High School committed early to play lacrosse at Johns Hopkins.

Rex Sanders, a junior midfielder at Eastview (Minn.) High School, made waves when he made a verbal commitment to Johns Hopkins in November 2008. Besides being one of the first in his high school class to make a commitment to college, Sanders is the Blue Jays’ first recruit from Minnesota. He spoke with LM about the early decision process.
How did you decide Hopkins was the school for you?
I actually was a North Carolina recruit, and then they called me and said the class was full up. After UNC told me not even to come and visit the campus, that day my mom got on the phone with Dave Pietramala and set up a trip for that next weekend. I went up there as soon as I could. I got on a plane and went out, and Coach Pietramala told me a lot about the [Hopkins] family and stuff, and I really liked that. It made my decision pretty easy.
Was there a particular reason that you made your decision early?
I just wanted to secure a spot at a good school, pretty much. [After the North Carolina incident], I was getting nervous and thinking Johns Hopkins would make its final cut before I had the chance to make my commitment.

What other schools were in the running for you?
Denver, Dartmouth, Princeton, Navy, Hofstra and Siena.
Did you feel pressure to make the decision early?
Oh yeah, definitely. Not so much when I got out there [for the campus visit], though. I knew I was going to be playing for the best school in country and getting a good education.

How did you feel after you made the decision?
I felt pretty relieved and happy. And pretty honored, actually.

Have you ever reconsidered the decision?
Not at all. I went up there again this month and watched a lacrosse game against Hofstra, and that secured my decision even more.

Is it weird to be done early compared to everyone else in your high school class?
It’s very weird, how far away it is and stuff. It’s almost two years. But all the pressure’s off pretty much, other than maintaining my grades. Pretty much, if I don’t get Fs, then I’m in.
I never even had a clue that this would happen to me. I never thought in a million years, just because I’m from Minnesota and I’m pretty much the only guy in the history of Minnesota lacrosse to go through the early decision process.

How involved were your parents in the process?
When I was out there and that was the first school I visited, I pretty much made the decision for myself and it was pretty easy for me. My mom and dad helped me out, talking to coaches and stuff before I even visited.

Was there any one moment that helped you make a decision?
It was right after the visit was over, I got back from the dorm room where I was staying with some guys on the team, and I went and talked to him [Pietramala] for the last time and thought to myself, “That’s the best decision for me. I don’t have to look at any other schools.”

What advice would you give to kids going through the process in the future?
Definitely kids that aren’t on the East Coast, they definitely have to go out East. There’s no other chance to get recruited. College coaches aren’t coming to your high school games. Go to camps and get on travel teams or you’re not going to get recruited. I went to the Hotbed tournament in Delaware. That’s where I got the most recruiting attention, because I made the all-star team at that.

Definitely you have to be involved. The coaches aren’t going to come out and talk to you. You’re going to have to e-mail and call coaches, and that’s going to be the best way for kids to do it.

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