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.

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CaptureMike O’Brien started playing lacrosse as a way to keep in shape for football.

“I got introduced to lacrosse through football growing up,” O’Brien said. “My brother, who is a year older than me, had a Pop Warner coach that was the lacrosse coach at my high school.

“After the football season was winding down, he sent out an email to the team encouraging us to play lacrosse in the offseason because it was a great workout and will keep us in shape for football. My brother started playing that spring and the following year I started to play and fell in love with the game.”

O’Brien still plays football and will be entering his senior year at Freehold High School (NJ).

But lacrosse is where his college future lies. The big defenseman verbally committed last week to Sacred Heart University, a decision first reported by Joe Lombardi on’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound O’Brien, a lefty, is as a physical, aggressive ability who is also very skilled.

recruiting_updateNow, here’s a Q&A with Mike on his commitment.

What were the main factors in your decision?
The main factors in my decision with committing to Sacred Heart were the school itself and seeing myself there, the education, (Sacred Heart Head) Coach (Jon) Basti and the lacrosse program, and distance from home.

What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I visited NJIT and Farleigh Dickinson. Those were my other main considerations.

What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I would say my strengths as a player are one-on-one defense, communication and transition/clearing. I would describe myself and my style of play as very aggressive and physical.

What area of your game do you need to work on?
The two biggest things I have to work on are speed and timing my checks.

What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I play for Team United in the summer and the only showcase I participated in this year was the Capital Challenge at the University at Albany.

Any final thoughts?
I would really like to thank the United Lacrosse directors Steve Carcaterra and Ric Beardsley for allowing my dreams of college lacrosse to come true. Also my older brother and parents for their support throughout my lacrosse career.

Mike O'Brien Profile

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Recruiting coverage

* Updated tristate recruiting commitment rundown for Class of 2014

* Updated tristate recruiting commitment rundown for Class of 2015

* Updated tristate recruiting commitment rundown for Class of 2016

* Updated tristate recruiting commitment rundown for Class of 2017

* Class of 2013 commitment rundown by high school/prep school

* Recruiting commitment story archive

* 2012 National Letter of Intent Fall Signing Week story/photo archive

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Posted In: New Jersey lacrosse, Recruiting Rundown

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