It’s the busiest time of year for major D-I commitments in the nation’s No. 1 hotspot for lacrosse, the NY/NJ/CT tristate region. Get caught up right here, right now.
Colby Smith has the talent to be a major Division I standout.
He also something else every bit as important.
The work ethic and the desire.
“Colby is the type of kid to drive 90 minutes to practice, get there an hour ahead of time and leave 30 minutes after practice is over,” said 2017 coach Marty Kupprion of NXT Lacrosse Club.
Smith, a Class of 2017 two-way midfielder from Hempfield HS (PA), will be taking those attributes to Ohio State University. He committed to the Buckeyes last week, a decision reported when it was made by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
With the verbal, Smith became NXT Lacrosse Club’s first 2017 commitment. The righty was NXT’s leading scorer this summer.
“He’s already 6-foot, 185 pounds and his shot clocked at 99 mph at Maverik (Showtime),” said Kupprion. ” I think he did pretty much every ASG at whatever event he was in this summer.”
Now, here’s a Q&A with Colby on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision?
I was interested in a school which allowed me to compete at the highest level. I found myself being drawn to a larger school which had strong academics, a coaching staff that I connected with, high-quality athletic facilities, and a strong support network all working towards the common goal of success on the field and in the classroom, which Ohio State delivers on all key factors.
I have really enjoyed my interactions with (Ohio State Head) Coach (Nick) Myers, (Assistant) Coach (Brad) Ross and (Assistant) Coach (Jamison) Koesterer at OSU and I am anxious to play for them.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
UVa, Penn State, Delaware and Loyola are the schools which I visited and considered. I was also invited to visit Air Force, Hofstra and Bucknell.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I feel as though my strengths include a nose for the goal, the ability to redodge, play with my head up, use both hands effectively, and play offensively and defensively. My style of play is best categorized as aggessive towards the goal, looking to include teammates whenever possible and recognizing matchup advantages.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
I feel as though I can improve on my lefty shots for accuracy and continue to work on my defense.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
Soccer was the first organized sport I played and I continue to play soccer for my high school team starting last year as a freshman playing center back and being named rookie of the year on my team, basketball (high school) and golf (recreationally). I have also played some tennis when I was younger.
I was first introduced to lacrosse in third grade in our local fiddlesticks program. For two years I was enrolled in this program and loved the sport from the moment I first started. I had the benefit of some very good coaches as a youth player who stressed the fundamentals of the game while also making practices fun.
Once we started to play real games against other local teams in fifth grade, I was hooked and it became my favorite sport over soccer.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I play for NXT Lacrosse and the showcase events that I participated in this summer were Jake Reed Nike Blue Chip, Maverik and the Philly Showcase.
Any final thoughts?
First of all, I would like to thank my family including my parents and sister. My sister plays college tennis and she taught me how to compete and keep battling. My parents have always supported me in lacrosse, particularly by juggling their schedules to make sure that I made all of my practices (many of which required considerable driving as we live about 60 miles from my club team’s location) and providing me the opportunity to spend extra time practicing and attending clinics/lessons which allowed me to enhance my game.
I have had an awesome experience with my club team NXT Lacrosse and would also like to thank all of my NXT coaches including Coach Marty Kupprion, Coach Brett Manney, Coach Chris Williams, Coach Mike Avato, Coach Andy Hayes and Coach Dan Deckelbaum.
I am very grateful for the coaching on the field and the guidance off the field from NXT.
In addition, I want to thank my Hempfield High School coaches including Coach Dave Ondrusek and Coach Kyle Piper. I look forward to battling for both NXT and Hempfield over the next three years.
So many people have played a role in my development and love for the game as I have had the opportunity to play on other teams when I was younger including Main Line Lacrosse, Headstrong and Freedom Lacrosse and I would like to recognize those programs as well.
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