We spent the better part of the last week-plus updating you folks on senior commits as the National Letter of Intent Fall Early Signing Week came and went.

Then, on Thursday, the day after the eight-day window for seniors to sign with Division I and Division II college programs ended, came news that one of the nation’s top sophomores made his choice.

Brian Cannon of Northport High School gave a verbal commitment to the University of North Carolina, as we told you yesterday on our “Updated recruiting review and commitment rundown.”

The 5-foot-8, 150-pound Cannon, a standout left-handed attackman, is adept at both finishing and feeding.

Though he’s only in the 10th grade, it’s been a long road to get to this point. He reveals in his LaxLessons.com player profile that he got his first lacrosse stick at age 2.

Now, let’s hear from one of the most highly recruited players in Northport history on his choice.recruiting_update

What were the main factors in your decision?
UNC has always been one of my top choices in colleges since I was young. I am a big fan of Nicky Galasso and have followed Billy Bitter’s career. The facilities at UNC are top-notch. I don’t think it gets much better than what they offer.

Coaches (Joe) Breschi, (Pat) Myers, (Brian) Holman and (Chris) Feifs made my decision even easier. They made me feel like family and I just clicked with all of them. Coach Breschi is really funny and easy to talk to.

The players I met were great, especially (freshman attackman) Joey Sankey (out of Penn Charter High School), and they had a lot of nice things to say about the coaching staff and UNC in general.

What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Duke, Michigan, Maryland and Princeton. I visited Duke and Michigan and thought both schools were great. I was also privileged to meet Coaches Caputo (Duke assistant Ron Caputo) and Paul (Michigan head coach John Paul), two of the nicest, most respectful coaches I have ever met.

What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
Dodging, I see the field really well and I can shoot. My style of play is that I like to play fast.

What other players have been influences on you?
My older brother, Jeff, a senior, is most likely going to Georgia Tech and will play on their lacrosse team. One of my best friends, who is like a brother to me, (Chaminade High School standout) Greg Rhodes will be playing at Duke and I am really looking forward to going to college near him as well as playing against him.

When did you first realize you had the potential to play at the college level?
By the time I was in seventh grade, coaches told me I had it in me to play at a college level. I always strive to do better and I still have a lot to prove to myself. I want to do Carolina proud and that means to continue practicing harder and keep my grades up. I love the game and am 100 percent committed to my current teams and my future one.

What were some of the big summer showcase events you’ve competed in the last couple of years and how id you do at them?
Last summer I played in the Suffolk County Showcase and went to Jake Reed’s Nike Blue Chip Camp. I did really well at both of those, which earned me a nice ranking in Inside Lacrosse Magazine’s Top 20 Young Gun Sophomore Watch List. I also did several tournaments over the summer with the LI Outlaws, recently participated in the Maryland Cup and Rutgers tournament and will be at Shoreham-Wading River playing with Northport High School varsity boys lacrosse this weekend.

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

Have a recruiting commitment to report? Be sure to email us at info@laxlessons.com.

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

LAXLESSONS Links

Recruiting coverage

* Updated recruiting review and commitment rundown (for classes of 2012, ’13 and ’14)

* 2011 NLI Fall Early Signing Period commitment rundown

* Class of 2011 commitment rundown

* Recruit profile archive

* For a list of committed players with their profiles up, click here.

* To get your profile up, click here.

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Posted In: Long Island lacrosse, Recruiting updates, Section 11

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28 Responses to “Sophomore star Cannon: ‘I want to do Carolina proud’”

  1. LI Lax says:

    Congrats Brian, can’t wait for this season!

  2. old school says:

    Dont understand these young kids today,one minute you are at Duke.They say they really like you and want you to wait.Then Drive up to UNC and commit.Some thing is wrong with this whole process.These kids are to young to be pressured by some of these coaches.And i think parents should step in and say wait,if they want you .They will be there when you finish your soph yr.So what is the Rush,my son went threw this and im so glad certaint things happen that some schools back off.And now he is commited to a shool that has integerty and wants kids to develope more and grow up.And they are in the top 15 school list in D 1.

    • slacrosse says:

      Agree. Unfortunately the schools won’t stop this practice. Must come from the NCAA.

    • Lax Novice says:

      Do I understand you to infer that Duke and UNC do not have integrity? I doubt it, but that’s how you made it sound. As for recruiting of HS sophomores in general, I don’t think the NCAA is too worried about the recruitment of these top-tier prospects, those guys would end up in a good situation anyway. The NCAA is much more concerned with the abuses in recruiting of football and men’s basketball players than in the relatively squeaky clean world of lacrosse. The bottom line is when NCAA member schools want to change the rules, they will. Until then, it is what it is.

      • slacrosse says:

        Yes as you surmised was not at all questioning ‘integrity” of these schools. They’re doing what they’re allowed to do. Just think a yr or so early to put these 15 yr old kids in the real live recruiting pressure cooker–let the kids have fun playing w/o having at all to worry about “Johnny taking his spot” , etc.

        And yeah, for sure the NCAA has lots of really serious issues in other sports to deal with these days. Lax pretty squeaky clean.

  3. old school says:

    No i think Duke has lots of integirty,they were the one who wanted the kid to wait.

  4. LI Lax says:

    Do you know anything about Brian’s situation that you feel you can criticize him like that? A little ridiculous IMO.

  5. old school says:

    Sorry not critizing Brian,I should have put in diffrent words .I think the school are at fault going after Sophmores.And putting pressure on them to commit so early.Next they will be going after grade school kids,

    • rlaxfamily says:

      They way some of the parents act out a our youth games and practices, you would think you last statement was already true! Anyway, parents do have a big role in all of this recruiting and visiting. Coaches are recruiting the family. I am sure that “Brian” did not make the decision all on his own to drive across tobacco road. Lets be real, money is time, time is money in most cases.

      • Lax Novice says:

        Parental overinvolvement resulting in undue pressure on kids to excel in youth sports has been around since Mickey Mantle was launching baseballs in Commerce, Oklahoma. The obnoxious Ken “Hawk” Harrelson of WGN White Sox fame once claimed that he was recruited out of grade school to play ball for a particular junior high. In the 1950′s.

        The point is that recruitment of HS athletes is one of the paramount responsibilities of any college coach. At highly-competitive schools like UNC and Duke, any coaches’s job depends on their team being successful both on and off the field. So when coaches are granted tenure and are assured of keeping their jobs regardless of the wins and losses, then recruiting may return to the less manic and shorter evaluation window of not that many years ago. Until that happens, you can be assured that every coach is going to reach out to any and every prospect who he feels is going to be in a position to help his team win. It’s not out of some lack of integrity that fine men like Coach Breschi, Coach Petro, Coach Starsia are making committments to HS sophomores, it’s job security.

        • Blue White says:

          Well put LN

          Wish we could get some chatter or a way too early CT season preview or story. E.g., on how this is NC’s year to challenge your Blue Wave and maybe break through in the Coach Whitten tenure. A genuine good dude

          • Lax Novice says:

            Good hearing from you BW and thanks for the kind words.

            I think NC has a real good team coming back in 2012. We know they have a top flight goalie in Tom Carey and guys like Brainard, Kraus and Blasco to put the ball in the net. Will that be enough to offset a Wave team who have three Top 50 IL seniors and the usual cast of talent either already committed to colleges or headed in that direction? That’s what remains to be seen.

            What is think is unfair to Coach Whitten, who I agree with you seems to be a very good guy, is how the posts I’ve seen all claim that NC has as much talent as Darien or anybody else, leaving it to be inferred that if the Rams don’t win FCIACs and/or Class M that it’s all the coach’s fault. That’s not right.

            If we’re lucky, they’ll match up three times and have three really good games, that’s what I’d like to see.

  6. Blue and White 2 says:

    Let’s not forget… Neither Darien nor New Canaan won state titles or even came close. How about some discussion about Ridgefield and Wilton? Last I checked, Wilton beat New Canaan 12-2 in the title game!

    • Lax Novice says:

      So what’s stopping you from discussing it?

      • Blue White says:

        Wilton returns a lot of solid role players so until some of them step up and the underclassmen fill-in it’s tough to say how they’ll stack up in the FCIAC, probably in the 4th or 5th slot. I imagine they’ll be competitive, winning face-offs and playing a possession game. Most likely be trending in the right direction come June.

        Back to ski equipment inventory

    • bwlaxr says:

      Let’s also not forget that until Darien’s two leading scorers went down, Wilton did not come all that close to beating Darien either. Wilton might have won states anyway the way they were playing, but I think we all know that they did not take Darien’s best shot in that last game. That’s like comparing NC beating Wilton without Francia and Serpa to NC beating Wilton at full strength (which they somehow managed to do last year so kudos for that).

  7. slacrosse says:

    Blue and White/Lacrosse Novice

    Boy all we (Rye) needed to do last season was knock off the Blue Wave to claim complete superiority over our southern Fairfield county neighbors!!

    JUST KIDDING GUYS!

    How does Greenwich look this season?

    • Lax Novice says:

      Thanks, s. We’ll know more about Greenwich, Darien, Brunswick and a few other locals when they take part in some full-field runs at Sono Field House starting in January. Brunswick has a lot of guys coming back and I’m anxious to see them.

    • Lax Novice says:

      I just saw that Greenwich and Rye are not playing this coming season. Doesn’t Rye owe Greenwich the return of the hone & home?

      • slacrosse says:

        Where did you see that? Shame if true!

        Can’t imagine any Rye fan, player, or coach not wanting to play again!

        • slacrosse says:

          Yeah looked on Laxpower. Didn’t think the schedules would be up yet. Not surprisingly Rye (and other Section 1 schedule’s not complete yet).

          At least Rye and New Canaan will play again.

          Like Darien playing perennial Ca power, Torrey Pines. Gotta give TP credit. Testing themselves to check how good they really are by coming East to play elite teams like Darien—and Deerfield (checked TP’s schedule).

          • Lax Novice says:

            Last year JJ hosted San Ramon Valley and came away with a victory against a very athletic team.

            For most FCIAC teams the league schedule is up on Laxpower, Darien and Greenwich have their non-league games set as well. The Wave will be hosting Torrey Pines and their top player, Cornell-bound Sean Doyle. In addition, Darien will continue its annual series with Manhasset at home for the first time since 2009 and host the St. Anthony Friars for the first time in a highly-anticipated rematch of one of the best local games of 2011, in which Tim Murphy’s goal clinched a 9-8 OT win for the Wave. They will also visit Charlie Murphy Field to battle with the Yorktown Huskers, not to mention the 2012 edition of the CROP.

            Greenwich’s non-league schedule for next season has the Cards visiting Fairfield Prep and hosting Lakeland/Panas and the Chaminade Flyers.

        • gwichlaxer says:

          Rye and Greenwich just scrimmiged today on march 31st at greenwich… GHS won in double OT

  8. slacrosse says:

    Lax Novice–I’m a huge “strength of schedule” guy in determining team rankings as the season goes on–Can’t fault the Blue Wave on that one.

    • Lax Novice says:

      The Blue Wave have always taken pride in playing anyone, anywhere, anytime.

      Btw I was thinking today that at this time last year there were about a zillion John Jay guys who insisted that Darien should play the Indians in the regular season due to the proximity of the two schools. You know how many John Jay guys want to play that game this year? Zero, zilch, nada, no way. Wonder why the change of heart?

      • slacrosse says:

        Ha,ha. Just as Town does you always want to to play the best year in and “out”.

        • Blue White says:

          Was it 2007 when Darien scheduled then #1 Georgetown Prep as its first game of the year? I thought that was insanity, but the Blue Wave more than held their own and nearly won it.

          Manhasset seems to be taking the same tack this year with the trip to play CH, the presumptive pre-season #1.

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