If you’re a field lacrosse player looking to get strong stick skills, maybe the two best things you can do is play box lacrosse and ice hockey.

Shane Simpson has done that.

As a result, the Hamilton, Ontario native emerged as one of the nation’s top offensive recruits.

Simpson, a rising junior midfielder who will be playing for the Salisbury School in Connecticut, has given a verbal commitment to North Carolina after also considering Johns Hopkins, Duke and Maryland – among others.

With two more years to work on improving his off-hand, the athletic Simpson, who has good size and speed, should start his college career in a good position to make an immediate impact.

Here’s a Q&A with Shane on his commitment:

What were the main factors in your decision to attend UNC?
When I visited, I loved everything about it.  I loved that it offered a great athletic experience with the brand-new facilities going in now, but more importantly, it offers a great academic opportunity.

I went on quite a few visits and as soon as I stepped on campus at each school, I could tell if it was for me or not.  North Carolina was definitely one of those schools that made me feel like I was home.  Along with the gorgeous campus, the coaches and I bonded from the moment they started to recruit me.  The bonds I made with Coach (Joe) Breschi and Coach (Pat) Myers made the decision a lot easier for me.

What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Other schools that I considered included Johns Hopkins, Duke, Maryland, UMass and Bucknell along with a couple of others.  I visited all of those schools, but like I said, I felt at home as soon as I stepped onto the North Carolina campus.

What adjustments do you think you will need to make to play at the next level?
Being a Canadian player, we are brought up only using one hand.  If I would like to be successful at the next level, I need to develop my weak hand.  From playing lacrosse in my backyard the last little while, it is coming along very well.

What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
First of all I like to play a fast tempo game and push the ball.  To play that style, you need to be fast which is probably the part of my game I benefit most from.  My speed is one thing I rely on, but my stick skills are also a very important part of my game.

I developed my stick skills playing box lacrosse.  Box lacrosse also helped me by forcing me to make quick decisions with or without the ball.  If I had to describe myself as a player, I am a fast, offensive middie that loves to score and most importantly, win.

When did you first start playing the sport in Canada, how were you introduced to it, and where did you play before Salisbury?
I was first introduced to lacrosse by my dad when I was 6 years old.  I played box lacrosse all the way up and I still play for the Six Nations Arrows Jr. A team.  I was introduced to field lacrosse when I was about 11 years old.

Before Salisbury, I played field lacrosse for the Edge Elite Team in the summers and box lacrosse during the spring.

To keep myself fit in the winters, I played AAA Hockey for my hometown.

This summer, I will be participating in the U19 Canadian Championships for Team Ontario which is also more lacrosse that I look forward to.

When did you first realize you had the potential to play at the college level?
It has always been a dream of mine to become a college lacrosse player.

It is really hard to say when you realize that you had the potential because I had people supporting me all the way up.  Some of these people include my coaches, friends and most importantly, my family.

If I had to give a specific time that I noticed I had the potential, I couldn’t because of all the support I have been blessed with over the years.

I would like to thank all these people that still to this day support me.  Thank you to both my parents, Glenn and Sarah, my coaches Clancy Almas and Bobby Wynne, my teammates, and my best friend, Darnell Nurse.

* For more info on Shane, check out his player profile by clicking here.

Follow Joe Lombardi on Twitter @joe_lombardi or by clicking here. Follow LaxLessons @LaxLessons or by clicking here.

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Posted In: Recruiting Rundown, Section 1

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