When it comes to ideal attributes for a Division I midfielder, Melvin Riddick has it all.
Good size. Check.
Above-average stick skills. Check.
Strong dodger. Check.
Multi-sport athlete. Check.
Those attributes are all on display in his highlight film.
So it should come as no surprise that the junior at Trinity-Pawling (N.Y.) is indeed Division I bound.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Riddick has verbally committed to Bryant University.
A native of Woodbury, Conn., Riddick is a wide receiver/cornerback in football and also plays basketball. His rise in lacrosse is especially impressive when you consider he didn’t start playing the sport until the age of 13.
“Melvin is an athletic, two-way midfielder who excels at playing at a high tempo and in transition,” Trinity-Pawling coach Nic Bell said.
Now, here’s a Q&A with Riddick on his commitment:
What were the main factors in your decision?
Bryant’s coaching staff, the other players in the 2014 recruiting class, the guys on the lacrosse team, and the chance to play in the NCAA tournament.
(Head) Coach (Mike) Pressler, (Assistant) Coach (Casey) Brodersen and (Assistant) Coach (Brad) Ross all made me feel welcome when I spoke with them on my visit. Also, their lacrosse backgrounds are very prestigious. I couldn’t be more comfortable knowing my coaches have my best interest in mind. I believe the quality of Bryant;s coaching staff is unrivaled not only in the NEC, but in all of the NCAA.
The rest of the 2014 commits to Bryant are all great players. Playing with good competition around me will definitely raise my level of play.
During my visit, all the guys on the team treated me like we had known each other for more than just a couple hours. I received a good vibe from everyone who I spent time with during my time there.
Last, but not least, the chance of playing in the NCAA tournament was hard to pass by. How far Bryant has come in the past few years not only speaks to the coaches’ hard work, but also the players’ as well.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Lehigh, Villanova and St. Josephs. Bryant was the only school that I visited.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I think my strengths as a player are my speed, athleticism and vision. I love to clear the ball and run as fast as possible in transition. My athleticism helps to make some plays happen that wouldn’t otherwise.
While dodging, I will take an open shot if it is there, but I Iove the feeling of getting an assist. I often look for open people to get the assist. I would describe my style of play as being very fast. I look forward fitting my style of play in with the other middies’ here at the Trinity-Pawling School.
What areas of your game have you been working to improve on?
I feel like I always need to improve my game no matter what area it is. This fall I have been focusing specifically on my shooting accuracy. My buddy, Auric Enchill, and I have been shooting early in the mornings. We push each other to shoot better every session.
A big thing that I believe Coach Bell will help with this upcoming season is my lacrosse IQ. In the past, I have had to rely on athletic ability to make plays happen. With a great lacrosse coach, the new parts of the game he teaches me will have a tremendous effect on my game.
Who have been some of the biggest influences on you during your development as a player?
There have been many influential people during my development as a player. It would be impossible to name every single person. Some people who really stick out to me as being influences are Charles Sherwood, Pearse McEneaney, Collins Gantz, and last but certainly not least, my mother.
Charles Sherwood is the entire reason for me playing the game of lacrosse. When I was in the seventh grade, he exposed me to the sport and suggested I play. I went to the Danbury (Conn.) Lacrosse Unlimited and bought the necessary equipment and began playing. As a skinny 13-year-old brand new to the game, he told me that I was going to play Division I lacrosse.
Pearse McEneaney is my closest friend. He is also committed to Bryant (Avon Old Farms Class of 2013). Even though we met almost a year ago, we are like brothers. One day the idea of going to the same school was brought up. After being presented the opportunity to go to the same school as him, I had to accept.
Collins Gantz is a freshman at Bryant this year. I saw him play while on my visit. We have very similar playing styles and he is the type of player and athlete I strive to be. He will be a great role model for me in my time at Bryant.
My mother, Kathleen Dooley, has been there for me my whole life. Through the ups and downs, she has stuck by my side 24/7. I can’t thank her enough for everything she has done for me.
What travel team did you play on and what were some of the big showcase events you participated in last summer?
I played for the CT Seminoles coached by Tom Mariano, head coach of Sacred Heart University.
Last summer, I attended the Prep School Showcase, King of the Hill, Villanova 150, FLG in 3D and Super Sophs, where I was an all-star selection.
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Posted In: Recruiting updates