The list of programs in hot pursuit of Ryan Lukacovic reads like a who’s who of college lacrosse.
Among them – Hopkins, Duke, Maryland, and ultimately, his final choice: national champion Virginia.
The Chaminade rising junior, one of the nation’s most heavily recruited players, made his decision Wednesday, giving a verbal commitment to accept a scholarship offer from the Cavaliers. If you checked out our “Updated recruiting review and commitment rundown,” you learned about it as it happened.
For Lukacovic, the world of D-I lax is one he’s familiar with. His dad, Thomas, was an attackman at UMass. His brother, Tom, a standout defenseman at Chaminade, will be a freshman at Fairfield this fall.
Now, Ryan, a 5-foot-10, 160-pound right-handed attackman, tells us the reasons behind his highly anticipated decision.
What were the main factors in your decision to attend Virginia?
The academics that the university had to offer and the fact that UVa is a top tier academic institution that possesses all of the things I am looking for in a college education.
Another factor that played a role was the location of the school and campus. Charlottesville, Va., is a beautiful area and the town found surrounding the school is just another awesome aspect to the campus.
The opportunity to play for Coach (Dom) Starsia, the winningest coach in college lacrosse history at the Division I level, also played a huge role in my decision. He has been wonderful in educating me with knowledge about the school as well as what the UVa lacrosse family is all about.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Before making my decision, the other schools that I considered as well as visited included Duke, North Carolina, Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Princeton and Notre Dame. I had also considered Harvard and Fairfield but was never able to visit those universities.
What adjustments do you think you will need to make to play at the next level?
Some adjustments I believe I will need to make include my strength, shot speed, as well as my overall knowledge of the game, which can never stop growing for any player.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
Some strengths I try to take advantage of while playing the game are my ability to dodge from all over the field, my vision and my Lacrosse IQ. I would describe my style of play as more a quarterback roll, one who understands the concepts of the offense and knows how and where it should be run from.
What players have you looked up to as you have moved up through the varsity ranks and could you talk about the influence your brother, Tom, who will be playing at Fairfield had on you?
One player I have looked up to and studied for quite a while is Mikey Powell, the one thing I had always found unique about him was his ability to use the net against his defenders advantage in order to get a step on him to either score or dish an assist.
Another person who has had a huge influence on my success as an attackman is my father, Tom, he played attack for the University of Massachusetts a while back and has passed down so much knowledge of the game to me which has helped me truly understand the sport.
The influence my older brother Tom has had on me as well is huge. Since we were young, he has always encouraged me to keep practicing and improving my game to be the best I possibly can. Whether that was hitting the wall for an hour, or simply studying and watching a game on TV and seeing how each player responded to different situations.
When did you first realize you had the potential to play at the college level?
I believe I first realized that I could play at the college level was when I was given the opportunity to play at the varsity level as an eighth-grader. The thought of college lacrosse came into my mind then, and has been growing since the dream first appeared.
* For more info on Ryan, check out his recruit profile by clicking here.
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