If you’ve been following along as the news of each new commitment has been reported on our new “Lacrosse Insider” special coverage section, then you already know that the phrases “Penn State” and “Class of 2016” have become synonymous the last week when it comes to tristate recruiting.
Then, earlier this week, Joe reported that Syosset attackman Mac O’Keefe decided on the Nittany Lions.
Notice a trend here?
It continued yesterday when yet another rising sophomore Long Island standout, West Islip attackman Conor Smith, verbally committed to PSU.
Smith is a player used to running offenses, no matter what sport he plays. (He’s a quarterback in football and point guard in basketball.)
The 6-foot, 150-pound lefty is a savvy offensive talent with good athleticism, outstanding field vision and lacrosse IQ who changes directions well.
What were the main factors in your decision?
Penn State provided me with the opportunity to attend a school with the best of both worlds. They have a tremendous academic reputation with great alumni connections.
The lacrosse program is on the upward move with (Penn State Head) Coach (Jeff) Tambroni and his staff. And the opportunity to compete in the Big Ten conference was something that really excited me.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I visited Ohio State, Maryland, Georgetown, Rutgers, Towson and Marquette.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I feel that my vision, change of direction and lacrosse IQ are my strongest assets. Coming from the West Islip program, we are always taught to be unselfish and look to make the extra pass. I consider myself to be the quarterback of the offense on the field.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
Prior to next season I hope to continue to improve my right hand, and also to work on my shooting.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse?
Having a father (Sean Smith) who has coached at Hofstra my entire life has certainly had an influence on my desire to play lacrosse. I grew up watching many great players at Hofstra over the years.
Also I have two older brothers who played and watching them both be members of state championship teams at West Islip certainly influenced me as well.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
In West Islip we play as a high school team during the summer. We played in local tournaments at Farmingdale College, Stony Brook University and traveled to the Jersey Shootout and Hotbeds. In addition I played in the Nassau/Suffolk Rising Sophomore Long Island Showcase, Jake Reed’s Blue Chip and Maverick Showtime. I made all-star teams at Maverick Showtime and Hotbeds.
Any final thoughts?
During the whole recruiting process there where a lot of people who helped me to get all the information i needed in order to make a decision. I want to thank my all my high school coaches; Scott Craig, Bill Turri and Jon Reese for the advice and help they gave me.
I especially owe a great deal gratitude to Bill Turri, who is a former Penn State lacrosse player who shared his Penn State experiences with me.
And finally, I want to thank my family for all their support and understanding and being so patient with my while I made my decision.
Be a Lacrosse Insider
Are you passionate about lacrosse? Do you love being the first to know and always being in the know? Then get access to unprecedented, groundbreaking coverage of summer travel and high school lacrosse and college recruiting now. Become a Lacrosse Insider here.
New iPhone/iPad and Android apps
Connect with us