A combination of strong lacrosse skills and outstanding academic credentials made Eric Persky a target recruit for many of the nation’s top Division I programs.
In the end, the New Canaan junior defenseman based his decision on what every high school player should – his comfort level with the school first, and the lacrosse program second.
Make no mistake – both are top-notch – and his decision reflects it.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound righty has given a verbal commitment to the University of Pennsylvania.
Here’s a Q&A with Eric on his commitment:
What were the main factors in your decision?
There were four major factors.
The first and foremost aspect of each school that I looked at was the academics. I wanted to make sure that I ended up at a school where I could succeed not only on the lacrosse field, but in the classroom as well.
The second factor was the people that I met. Knowing how much time I would be spending with the lacrosse team during my four years, I was looking for a place with a tightly-knit group of guys that I could see myself remaining friends with even after graduation.
The third factor was the location. I found out early on that I preferred to be in a city environment rather than a more rural campus. I was also looking to remain close enough to my home so that it would be easy and inexpensive for me to return home for holidays and breaks.
The final and least important factor was the lacrosse itself. While I wanted to play at the highest level possible, I knew that lacrosse would only be a part of my college experience, and I needed to find a place that met the rest of my criteria first.
That being said, the school that ended up being the best fit was the University of Pennsylvania. Not only is it a top academic institution, but the Wharton School of Business, which is where I plan to study, is one of the foremost undergraduate business schools in the nation.
During my visit, the team really made me feel at home and I could tell that they were all very close with one another.
UPenn is located in Philadelphia, so it definitely had the city vibe that I was looking for.
They also have a strong lacrosse program — they made it to the NCAAs this year — one that is only going to get better in the years to come.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Over the course of the previous summer and fall I considered a number of school, including Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and UPenn. I met with each of the coaches and took a short tour of each school.
From there, I cut my list down to Harvard, Yale and UPenn and took an overnight visit to each, where I met the players and watched a practice or a scrimmage.
After that, I talked with the coaches on the phone until I was able to figure out which school was the best overall fit for me.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
In my opinion, my greatest strength as a player is my footwork. Although I might not always be the biggest player on the field, my footwork allows me to push out father on the attackman, pressuring him and making it more likely that he will make a mistake. I also find that it allows me to place myself in the best position to direct and control the player that I am covering, as well as make a quick recovery if I make a mistake.
What players have had the greatest influence on you while being part of New Canaan’s lacrosse program?
The two players that have had the greatest influence on me at New Canaan were Will Gould and Jimmy Joe Granito. Although both were seniors and captains, and I was a sophomore, they both helped me find my place within the team.
When did you first realize you had the potential to play at the college level?
I never considered playing lacrosse in college until the summer after freshman year. I had been invited to Jake Reed’s rising Sophomore Nike Bluechip camp, and there I was able to compare myself to some of the top players in the country. Even then it was still a hazy dream until this summer, when I started getting calling coaches at the schools I was interested in and seriously talking to them about their programs and where I might fit in/
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?
The summer I was a rising sophomore, the only major event I went to was Jake Reed’s Nike Bluechip, where I played pretty well for my first time playing at that level. However, I felt that I could have played a little better.
My rising junior summer, I played for the CT Chargers and went to a few minor tournaments. I also attended the Maverik Showtime Camp where I got off to a shaky start but ultimately made the All-Star game in the end. I also attend the Brine Shootout at UMBC with the team Rip-It Elite. The Maverik Showtime and the Brine Shootout where the two places where I got the most exposure according to the coaches that I talked to.
For more info on Eric, check out his player profile by clicking here.
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