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When it comes to the Class of 2018 in the nation’s No. 1 hotspot for lacrosse, Christian Villani is first.

The  Smithtown East High School (NY) midfielder, whose  commitment to the University of Maryland was reported when it was made by Joe Lombardi on’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section, is a righty who excels in transition, has strong stick skills and outstanding athleticism.

The 5-foot-11, 155-pound Villani is also a strong dodger.

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

What were the main factors in your decision?
I knew that I wanted to play Big Ten and study Kinesiology/Exercise Science. There were only a handful of colleges that fit that bill. When it came down to it I really liked the coach (John Tillman) and I have always had a soft spot for Maryland.

What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I researched all of the Big Ten schools, their coaching staffs and the programs they offered as well as their proximity to home.  There ended up being only two schools on my list, Maryland and Penn State.

photo-1I visited both and did both of their prospect camps.  I really got a good feeling about both schools and spoke to both coaches several times.  They answered all the questions I had and in the end I was able to really make my decision without any trouble.

What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
Well, I’d like to think that I have a pretty high lacrosse IQ and I make everyone around me better. My strengths are dodging and decision making.

What area of your game do you need to work on?
I think I need to tweak my shot on the run and continue to get bigger, faster and stronger.

How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
I started playing lacrosse and football in first grade for the town team in Mattituck and loved them both.  I quickly realized that lacrosse was more my sport and by fourth grade was playing travel ball, forcing my parents to drive me from the east end of Long Island to Nassau County several times a week.

What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I am currently playing for Long Island Express and Team Smithtown East.  I went to Hotbeds and the National High School Lacrosse Showcase this past summer with Team Smithtown.

Any final thoughts?
I would definitely thank my parents, because we spent at least three hours after school every day in the car getting me to my travel practices and clinics  which were always “up island.”  We even moved to St. James so that I could be closer to good lacrosse.

Mike Chanenchuk took me under his wing and taught me the game of lacrosse.  He has made me what I am today, and the best complement that I have ever gotten was being told that I played like his son Michael Chanenchuk, Jr.

I would thank the guys at Xceleration Sports Training in Deer Park, John Furia, Stephen Wilk and Kenny Lippe they have made me and continue to make me, bigger, faster and stronger. They are responsible for my love of strength training.

Have a recruiting commitment to report? Send an email to, contact Joe Lombardi directly at or send a Tweet to @Joe_Lombardi or @LaxLessons.

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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: Long Island lacrosse, Recruiting Rundown, Section 11

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