It’s been a busy week for recruiting commitments for one of the nation’s most tradition-rich programs, the Yorktown Huskers.
Longstick midfielder/defenseman Austin Fusco, one of the nation’s top sophomores, verbally committed to Syracuse.
If you were with us bright and early this morning on Twitter, you learned of another Husker who decided where his destination at the next level will be.
Danny Manning, a junior, verbally committed to St. Joseph’s.
Manning is the kind of midfielder coaches crave.
“I love taking faceoffs,” Manning revealed in his LaxLessons.com player profile that has been up and running since last year.-“They are so important and I love the battle.”
The 5-foot-10 midfielder also has strong stick skills and a good shot.
Now, let’s hear more from Danny.
What were the main factors in your decision?
Beyond the fact that I wanted to play D-I lax, there were many factors. Perhaps one of the main reasons was the new coaching staff at St Joseph’s. (Head) Coach Taylor Wray shows a real sincere passion to bring St. Joseph’s lacrosse to a new competitive level. He really feels that I could be a big part of their plans.
Along with assistants Mike and Dan Keating, Coach Wray made me feel really, really comfortable and their lacrosse background is impressive: All were players at Duke and assistants at Lehigh and Coach Wray plays professionally.
The school seems to be 100 percent behind their commitment to a new lacrosse attitude. They are upgrading their recruiting efforts and have locker room and field renovation plans. Plus they play in the Colonial Athletic Association – all great lax schools.
The campus, although technically in Philadelphia, has a historic, suburban feel. It is not overwhelmingly large (5,400 undergrads) and there is a certain air of friendliness in the well-manicured grounds and stone buildings.
The academics. I have found that St. Joseph’s has an excellent academic reputation – particularly its Business school. That is really important for future job placement. The student-athlete academic interaction program is good too.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I visited Bryant, Marist, Marquette, UMBC, Delaware, Loyola, Sacred Heart and Siena. Most were full recruiting-type visits and some were just introductions. I was also invited for visits to Fairfield, Tampa and Oneonta.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
My strengths as a player start in the faceoff X. I love to compete on the whistle and I realize how important winning the possession is. To be good here you need to be quick, tough and a ground-ball hog. I also love to play offense and shoot, I compete really well defensively and have good defensive technique.
What areas of your game do you think you need to improve on?
There will be a lot of concentration on our excellent attack players this year (Conor Gately, Frankie Fusco, Nick Mariano, Connor Vercruysse). With a lot of attention on them, I will need to fine-tune my dodging and overhand shot to help contribute to the offense.
Who have been some of the biggest influences on you during your development as a player?
Constantly playing in a competitive environment. Playing in Yorktown really provides that. Through middle school, the Yorktown Athletic Club travel teams had excellent players and coaches and always placed us in tournaments that had highly skilled competition.
Parents/coaches like Mark Vercruysse, Phil Mariano, Vinnie D’Andraia and Tom Interlicchio.
And, of course, the high school has a great program. The coaching staff is very knowledgeable and gives us great direction, with coaches (Dave) Marr, (Sean) Carney, (Adam) Lodewick,(Rob) Doerr and (Dave) Graham.
All the varsity upperclassmen are really great players and I’ve played with fellow 2013 classmates all my life, like Nick Mariano, Brian Prestreau, Trevor Koelsch, Brian Harris, Zach Reilly and DJ Peters just to name a few. We’ve been beating each other up for years.
What travel team did you play on and what were some of the big showcase events you participated in last summer?
In the summer and fall of 2011, I played with the Yorktown No Limit Ballers. We played in the Maverick Big Time Shoot Out (at Mitchel Field in Hempstead), Syracuse Shoot Out, Yale Bulldog tournament, Rutgers Tournament (fall), and Shoreham/Wading River Fall Classic.
I participated in these camps/showcases in 2011: Top 205 (Towson U.), Loyola Greyhound, Peak 200 (Springfield), Jake Reed Nike Blue Chip (fall), Siena Prospects Camp (fall).
Also, I will be attending Alex Smith Faceoff Camp for the second year (in February).
Yorktown’s college committed players
Total – 12
Breakdown by class:
Class of 2012
College, position: Rutgers, defense
College, position: Drexel, attack/midfield
College, position: Marquette, attack
College, position: Mercy, midfield
College, position: Mercy, defense/longstick midfield
College, position: Springfield, midfield
College, position: Springfield, midfield
College, position: Cortland State, midfield
Class of 2013
College, position: Hopkins, defense
College, position: St. Joseph’s, midfield
College, position: UMass, attack
Class of 2014
College, position: Syracuse, longstick midfield, defense
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Player’s perspective archive
* If you’re a player from the region and would like to share your perspectives on the 2012 season, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can check out the more than 90 stories by clicking here.
* For a look at how schedules for teams from throughout the region for the 2012 season are shaping up, be sure to check out the “Schedules galore” thread.