When I was in eighth grade, about the only thing I was committed to was a bowl of Fruity Pebbles in the morning. Long Island native Brennan O’Neill isn’t your typical eighth-grader.
Hailing from a lacrosse hotbed and playing for one of the country’s top club programs, the Bay Shore (N.Y.) middle schooler has garnered plenty of national attention before entering high school, and the Class of 2020 (what?!?!) standout just committed to the Penn State men’s lacrosse program on St. Patrick’s Day, like any lax-playing O’Neill worth his salt would.
O’Neill is the first male Class of 2020 lacrosse recruit to commit collegiately, according to Recruiting Rundown. Each of the past two years, top players in the eighth-grade class committed in the summer and fall before their freshman seasons, but they’re by no means the youngest collegiate lacrosse recruits, as current Brighton (Rochester, N.Y.) junior attack McKenzie Harris committed to the Syracuse women’s program as a sixth-grader in 2011.
O’Neill played attack for the Team 91 Crush squad that captured the inaugural Warrior World Series of Youth Lacrosse at Denver’s Sports Authority Field this past summer. The 6-foot teen also scored 10 goals to capture All-Tournament honors at Maryland’s Inside Lacrosse Invitational in July. Recruiting Rundown listed him as one of 14 Class of 2020 players to watch during the National Lacrosse Federation Futures event at IMG Academy.
O’Neill is playing as an eighth-grader on Bay Shore High’s varsity squad this spring and scored six goals in his first scrimmage, according to Recruiting Rundown, and he plans to play for perennial powerhouse St. Anthony’s High in Huntington Station, N.Y., as a freshman.