Any college program that targets and ultimately lands a commitment from a midfielder with good size and speed would undoubtedly like to clone that player.
Furman University in Greenville, S.C., is doing the next best thing.
That’s because the senior twin brother tandem of Liam and Bobby Young of Manhasset High School (N.Y.) have both given verbal commitments to coach Richie Meade, who will be launching the program at Furman with the 2014 season.
Both Young brothers are cut of the same mold as players. Though Liam (shown at far left in the photo with Bobby) is a bit bigger at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, both are right-handers with exceptional stick skills to go along with that size and athleticism. (Bobby is 6-foot, 180 pounds.)
The Youngs, who played for the Long Island Sting this past summer after being on the Long Island Express the previous four years, played at the Brine Shootout, Hotbeds and Tri-State tournaments. Bobby Young was named a Gait Fab 40 all-star. They also performed well at the Philly Showcase last fall. They both started received heightened recruiting interest after the Under Armour Showcase tryouts in June.
Now, here’s a Q&A with both Liam and Bobby on their commitments.
What were the main factors in your decision?
Liam: My main goal was obviously the academics, but I also felt the coach I would be playing for was very important, especially at the D-I level. I wanted a coach to help me refine my skills as a player and also be a mentor to me off the field. Having the chance to play for Coach Meade is a dream come true for me.
Bobby: the most important factor for me was the right fit. I knew I wanted to get the best education I could at a superior school, but I
always dreamed of playing Division I lacrosse. I wanted to challenge myself in college both academically and athletically at the highest possible level.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Liam: I loved the discipline, toughness and high morals the service academies offered. We were both groomed to appreciate those values since we were young. I also considered Navy, Holy Cross, Binghamton, Washington & Lee and Hamilton. But once I saw
Furman’s campus, learned about their academic programs and heard what they have in store for the lacrosse program, I knew it was the right school for me.
Bobby: My family has a history of military service across several branches. Grandparents, uncles and cousins all served and so the service academies are where we started our search. I considered Navy and VMI and visited several other schools such as Holy Cross, Salisbury and several NESCACs to keep an open mind. Furman came into the picture late but when Coach Meade took us on a tour of the campus and told us about all the excitement of starting a new program there, I knew it was the place for me.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
Liam: I believe my best attributes are my speed, strength and size. I love to play a tough, physical style that I have learned through playing football. My defensive abilities are definitely a strong point but I can score and make assists as well.
Bobby: My speed and agility and sense of the field to find the open man. I played attack growing up and switched to middie in high school. The coaching staff encouraged me to use my speed and ground ball skills to my advantage as a middie and it has paid off tremendously.
Did you guys grow up hoping you would wind up playing together in college and how important a factor was that in your decision?
Liam: Being a twin was difficult when it came to recruiting. When we decided to present ourselves as a package deal recruiting-wise, it narrowed our school choices a bit.
Of all the coaches we talked to, Coach Meade recognized the importance of family and never once considered separating us. He always said he thought of us as a team.
We both run on the same middie line in Manhasset although we have different styles of play. Bobby’s key strengths outside of his speed are his unbelievable quickness and agility. I’ve always been a bit bigger and like to use my size and strength to play a power game.
There is definitely a benefit to being a twin and being on the court or field together whatever sport we play. We always can anticipate where the other one is on the field. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and are always able to pick each other up and get the job done.
Bobby: We are a family of five boys and we are all very close. There is always some type of mini lax game going on in the backyard, the basement or on the beach in the summer. Lacrosse is just part of our household day in and day out.
I think Liam and I just assumed we would go to school together. It wasn’t until we started getting individual letters from schools that we even thought about not going to the same school. We talked to several older guys who went to school with their brothers and they said it was a great experience. We hope our younger brothers consider Furman when their time comes.
Who have been some of the biggest influences on you during your development as players?
Liam: Our high school coach, Bill Cherry, has probably had the greatest influence on us the last few years. He runs one of the best programs in the country and he and his coaches motivate you daily at practice to be the best you can be on and off the field.
Our JV coach, Bill Luzzi, was also one of our favorite coaches.
Overall, I would have to say my dad has been our biggest inspiration-he is a cancer survivor and his example of never quitting and fighting through adversity taught all of us a great life lesson.
Bobby: We were very fortunate to have so many great coaches over the years. My dad coached us in PAL along with Lacrosse Hall of Famer Kevin Cook and we had a lot of great coaches at summer camps and club teams over the years.
Coach Jack Moran from Chaminade was a great influence on us. Also, Coach Larry O’Leary from the Long Island Express, was instrumental in our lacrosse development.
Follow Joe Lombardi at Twitter.com/joe_lombardi.
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