Like a number of sports, lacrosse moved its recruiting cycles earlier and earlier in recent years until a number of the elite Division I scholarships were all handed out when players were still freshmen and sophomores. That all changed in 2017, when new regulations barred contacting recruits before their junior school year.
Now a trio of elite recruits who committed long before those regulations were in place have decided against following through on their pledge, but not in order to choose another lacrosse program. These recruits are chasing a future in college football.
As reported by the Washington Post, three D.C.-area prospects who were committed to major Division I lacrosse programs have instead accepted football scholarships, leaving some of the nation’s strongest, most well-heeled lacrosse programs behind.
The group is led by Ricky Miezan of Episcopal, who was ranked as the number one overall lacrosse prospect in the nation as a junior, but gave up on a dual lacrosse and football commitment to North Carolina to instead accept an offer to play linebacker at Stanford.
“College football wasn’t in the back of my mind when I started playing, but I was like, maybe it could be a possibility,” Miezan told the Post. “You see college football on TV, and it’s just this huge thing. It’s wild. It looked fun, obviously.”
Since taking up the sport just two years ago, Miezan has indeed had fun, and quite a bit of success in the process. Just as he chose Stanford, Bullis (Md.) junior midfielder Bryson Shaw was a longtime Maryland lacrosse commit before dropping that pledge for Ohio State football (where he’ll be a safety) and South Lakes senior longpole defensive midfielder Spencer Alston, who dropped an Ohio State lacrosse scholarship to chose Yale football.
“Playing in front of 50-plus thousands in a stadium compared to maybe 10,000,” Shaw told the Post, “it’s a pretty big difference.”
That difference apparently paved the way for at least three prime recruits to pick football over lacrosse, with the only remaining question being whether it is a sign of things to come.