With the accelerated recruiting process, official visits, which cannot be taken until fall of a student-athlete’s senior year, are now often orientation-type trips for already committed players.
Westminster School (Conn.) standout Brian Smyth, meanwhile, has effectively made the most of his unofficial visits. Smyth, a midfielder recruited by many of the nation’s top programs, made not one, but two, unofficial trips to several of those colleges.
In the end, he decided on Duke.
The 5-foot-10, 200-pound Smyth is a righty is an athletic player who excels in three sports. He becomes the Blue Devils’ fifth 2016 tristate commit.
What were the main factors in your decision?
It came down to how I felt when I was on campus. I liked all the guys I met and the campus itself is great.
The coaches were all nice guys and I got a sense that they were close with the players, which I liked. I wanted to play at the school with the combination of the best possible lacrosse and best possible academics.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I visited a lot of schools over the summer, but it eventually came down to Duke, Princeton, Yale, Notre Dame and Notre Dame. At those schools, I did another visit in the fall so I could see it when people were there.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
My strengths are having a variety of moves to get to the net and being a situational playmaker. I would describe my style of play as a dodger.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
I need to work on my lefty shot, as well as my overall accuracy with both hands. I also take faceoffs so I can always improve in that area as well.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
I got introduced to lacrosse when I was 6 and started to play with Doc’s Lacrosse when I lived in New York City. My dad got me into lacrosse because he grew up on Long Island and had never played himself. I also play hockey and played football until last year.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I play for the Bulldogs Lacrosse Club (CT). I played on the 2015 team and went to NSCLA and Crab City with them. I also went to Maverik Showtime, Prep School Showcase, and played for New England in the Under Armour Underclassman Games.
Any final thoughts?
I would like to thank my parents for supporting me throughout the process. They have spent endless hours bringing me to all my tournaments and college visits. I would also like to thank them for not letting me quit the game.
I would like to thank my Westminster coach, Peter Newman. He has been someone I could go to and talk about my thoughts on all the schools and has pushed me to improve tremendously over the last year.
I would also like to thank my Bulldogs coach, Brian Adkins. He has pushed for me since I joined his team three years ago and has helped me a great deal through this process.
Lastly, I would like to thank Bill Zempsky, Bob Macca and Steve Fisher for coaching me at the youth level in West Hartford and teaching me important lessons that I still carry with me today.
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