There’s nothing like an unlikely run to the NCAA Division I championship game to boost recruiting.
Just ask Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish, who finished the 2010 regular season7-6 and barely received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, wound up advancing all the way to the title game, where they nearly stunned Duke, before falling 6-5 in overtime in the lowest scoring D-I final in men’s lacrosse history.
Though the Irish came up just short in the that game, they’ve been coming up big when it comes to landing prized recruits.
The Irish’s latest commitment comes from one of the top junior defensemen in the Hudson Valley/Long Island/Connecticut region, Matt Landis of Pelham.
The most heavily recruited boys lacrosse player in PHS history, Landis, an athletic and rangy player with good size and foot speed, narrowed his choices to UND and Johns Hopkins.
Landis, who is also a football and hockey standout for the Pelicans, was a standout on the Hudson Valley Empire State Games team .
He gained notice from Notre Dame and Hopkins both there and at several other summer events, including the Section 1 Showcase at John Jay.
ND is ranked seventh in the Face-Off Yearbook Top 20 coaches’ preseason rankings, which you can check out by clicking here. (For the Division II and Division III rankings, click here. For a look at Face-Off Yearbook’s preseason Division I All-Americans, click here.)
What were the main factors in your decision to attend Notre Dame?
I really liked the family aspect and togetherness of the school community and everyone there. I also really liked the idea of going to a school where all the athletic programs are top-notch Division I teams. Most importantly though, Notre Dame offers an incredible education that will help me throughout life.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Throughout the admissions process, I was considering UMass, Colgate, Brown, Navy and Johns Hopkins. Johns Hopkins though, was the only other school I visited besides Notre Dame. Hopkins had a lot to offer and it was a difficult decision.
What adjustments do you think you will need to make to play at the next level?
Now that I have made the commitment to play lacrosse at the next level, I need to improve my off hand so that I’m equally comfortable handling the ball between my right and left.
In addition I want to increase my agility, footwork and in-game knowledge so I’ll be able to sync into a higher level defensive program.
Having said that, I have two seasons of lacrosse to improve my skills to be prepared to participate in lacrosse at the college level
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I excel at on-ball coverage, and I relish the opportunity to play a man one-on-one. But this style of play has to be sacrificed in some cases to conform to the overall defensive scheme to make sure that everyone is on the same page, and goals aren’t let up.
When did you first realize you had the potential to play at the college level?
This past summer was my first experience playing out of high school lacrosse on Roy Colsey’s Superstar team, and the Empire games coached by Tim Schurr and Dave McNally.
At first, it was daunting, but I found I was able to play with high-level high school lacrosse players at the Empire games, and in summer tournaments. I reasoned that if I could keep up with college prospects then, if I kept on improving I could eventually play against college players.
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