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PJ Usak’s didn’t have to look far to get the perspectives of alumni when he began drawing recruiting interest from LIU Post.
After all, the father of the longstick midfielder St. John the Baptist (NY), Paul Usak, a 1983 graduate of Deer Park HS (NY), played football at Post (then known as CW Post), as a strong safety.
If that’s not enough, Usak’s varsity coach, Larry Collins, was a two-time lacrosse All-America at Post.
But the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Usak found plenty to like about the Pioneeers’ program beyond those strong ties, committing to LIU Post earlier this week, a decision first reported by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Usak, a righty, combines good size and speed with strong technique. He is a rangy, active player who makes things happen on the defensive end.
Now, here’s a Q&A with PJ on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision?
Being able to play for (LIU Post Head) Coach (John) Jez while having the potential to compete for a national championship.
I knew from the start that LIU Post would give me the opportunity to excel both athletically and academically. I was very impressed with the business program and felt it offered a great chance for success.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I considered many schools across all three divisions before making my choice. I visited LIU Post, Bentley, Franklin & Marshall and Stevenson.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I believe the strongest part of my game is my speed and ability to create offense. I’m an aggressive on-ball defender who likes to challenge the dodger.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
I was introduced to lacrosse a bit later than most kids. I didn’t start playing until the summer of seventh grade. At that time I was playing hockey, but ounce I started playing for the Stickheads lacrosse would soon become my favorite sport. I also play football at St John the Baptist.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
This past summer I played for the LI Rebels as well as Team 91. I also played in the Blue Chip 225 all-star game. By far the highlight of my summer was making the 2015 Under Armor All-American uncommitted game at Towson University.
Any final thoughts and people you want to thank for helping you get to this point?
I would like to give special thanks to Coach Tom Gilmartin who helped me tremendously throughout the recruiting process. Coach Tom helped me improve my game as well as offered constant guidance and support throughout the process.
I would also like to thank my high school coaches — Coach Isnardi and Coach Collins — for all they’ve done for me throughout my four years at St. John the Baptist. I consider them mentors both on and off the field and wouldn’t be were I am today without them.
I would like to thank my trainer Steve Wilk at Xceleration Sports Training for always pushing me to get better.
Finally and most importantly, I would like to thank my parents for the amazing support and guidance they’ve shown throughout the years. I am the person I am today because of them.
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