Growing up in Garden City has provided Justin Guterding with plenty of real-life examples of what it takes to be a major Division I player.
After all, six seniors from last year’s Class B state runner-up squad committed to Division I programs.
Next season, the Trojans already have three Division I-bound rising senior recruits.
Guterding, a 6-foot, 175-pound left-handed feeding attackman, became the first Trojan rising junior to commit last week when he gave a verbal commitment to Duke after also considering Penn, Notre Dame, Harvard, Princeton and North Carolina.
What were the main factors in your decision to attend Duke?
First off, the education Duke offers is something you can’t turn down. Duke is ranked in the top 10 academically in the country and being a part of that is just an honor.
Secondly, the coaching staff played a huge role in my decision. While on my visit each of them individually taught me everything there is to know about Duke University and what I will be experiencing for the next four years.
Lastly, Duke lacrosse has been extremely successful under Coach (John) Danowski for the past five years and that is something I am so excited to become a part of.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
My decision came down to Duke and UPenn. I also considered Notre Dame, Harvard, Princeton, North Carolina. I did visit UPenn and it was very hard to turn down, but Duke has always been my dream school.
What adjustments do you think you will need to make to play at the next level?
One major adjustment to become a complete player is my off-hand ability. I could also use work on my quickness and ability to work off ball when someone else is looking to feed which will be very important playing with one of the best feeders in the country,(Harvard-bound rising senior) Devin Dwyer.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I describe myself as a creator, either getting the assist or maybe even the hockey assist. My strengths I try to take advantage of most importantly is my strength by backing a defenseman down. I also like to use my lacrosse IQ to outsmart my opponent.
What players have you looked up to as you have moved up through the varsity ranks?
Two kids on the team that helped me out on the way moving up to the varsity ranks were (Harvard-bound GC 2011 graduate) Steve Jahelka and (Penn State-bound GC 2011 graduate) JP Burnside.
Steve mostly because he doesn’t want anyone beating him at anything. JP because he helped me out if I made a bad play but the major reason is he flew under the radar behind two of the best defensemen in the country (Steve and Harvard University-bound 2011 GC grad Brian Fischer) and still worked hard every day in practice and will have an amazing career at Penn State.
Another important person in my life was my father, Joe. Although he pushed me harder than any other parent, he made me who I am, having the mental toughness to have the attitude to want it more then anyone else.
He always says, “Prove me wrong,” which makes me want to show him I can do it. Sometimes he jumps in net for me since he was a two-time All American at Penn State as a goalie even though he might be a little afraid now.
When did you first realize you had the potential to play at the college level?
When I saw myself in at important times late in big games, even with all of the talent on the offensive end at Garden City.
* For more info on Justin, check out his recruit profile by clicking here.
Garden City college commits
Class of 2012
Class of 2013
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