It didn’t take long for Fox Lane rising senior Cameron Stephens to decide Ohio State was the right fit for him.

Stephens, a 6-foot-5 goaltender and member of the Hudson Valley Empire State Games team, told me early last night by phone that he has given a verbal commitment to accept a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes just minutes after wrapping up an unofficial visit at the school’s Columbus, Ohio campus yesterday.

After giving the commitment to OSU coach Nick Myers, Stephens then began contacting others schools that had recruited him to inform them of his decision — a process that ended this morning shortly before he boarded a flight back to LaGuardia Airport in Queens.

Stephens enjoyed a stellar debut season as Foxes goaltender last year, leading Fox Lane to an 11-6 season after going 5-12 the year before. He earned all-section honors.

Here’s a Q&A with Cameron on his commitment:

What were the main factors in your decision to commit to Ohio State?
OSU was on the top of my list from the beginning of my college search, starting back in November of last year.  After visiting the campus I realized it was a place I could really enjoy myself on and off the lacrosse field.

I knew OSU had a great lacrosse program that is getting better every year.  I wanted to be part of a team that had a strong sense of family as well.  Coach Myers stressed the fact that family was very important to a successful and fun season — and that is exactly what I was looking for.  Coach Myers also made it clear that I had a chance to play as a freshman if I work really hard in the classroom and on the rectangle in practice.

What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I narrowed my decision down to West Point and Ohio State.  I took unofficial visits to Maryland, Towson, Bryant, Salisbury and Delaware.

What adjustments do you think you will need to make to play at the next level?
I need to continue sharpening my technique and my clears to play at the next level. I am looking forward to focusing my athletic abilities on lacrosse as my sole sport in college and the coaching that comes at the next level.

What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I have fast hands and feet and I am very vocal in cage.  I would describe my style as workman-like. I’m in the cage to save the ball and be a leader, not to run it up and be flashy. I want to do my job my well and help make our defense run as a unit to prevent the shot in the first place, create turnover opportunities, and run the offense down.  To me one of the best things in the cage is a four minute possession by the offense with no shot resulting in a turnover to our offense.

What players have you looked up to as you have moved up through the varsity ranks?
Dennis Butler, my position coach, has been a big inspiration to me.  He was a very successful goalie at Pleasantville and Ithaca and he still plays in many indoor leagues and men’s leagues.  He does all the things I want to do when I get into my 20s.  Dennis improved my game ten-fold and he has helped me get to the level I am.

Luke Robinson, who is now at Ithaca, is a phenomenal goaltender and he presented big shoes for me to fill when he left Fox Lane (after three years as the starting goaltender, ending after the 2009 season).  Watching him play and make great saves and great clears inspired me to try and be as good as him.

George Johnson was another inspirational figure.  He was my coach in BYL (Bedford Youth Lacrosse), which is now FLYL (Fox Lane Youth Lacrosse), and really set the platform for making lacrosse important in my life.

When did you first realize you had the potential to play at the D-I level?
I felt good in cage all season and being named all-section made me realize I could be included in the same conversation with other great athletes from the  Hudson Valley.  After making the all-star teams at New England Premier, Top205, and Blue Chip I realized I could compete with the best competition out there, really from all over the country.  And with conversations with many coaches at all these events from different levels, that’s when I started to realize that I could be a D-I prospect.

* For background info on Cameron, click here.

Posted In: Recruiting Rundown

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19 Responses to “Fox Lane’s Stephens opts for Ohio State”

  1. ESG Lax says:

    Awesome news. Congrats Cam!

  2. Lax King says:

    There is no doubt that big goalies are all the rage for D-1 programs these days after some of the recent success stories we’ve seen in the college ranks especially in the postseason. Cameron at 6-5 and with good quickness nevertheless is definitely a diamond in the rough.

  3. Congratulations Cameron! Keeping working hard and always remember to have fun playing lacrosse.

  4. Alex bidz says:

    Camman! You da man!! The wife and I are proud of you and can’t wait to see you in action you big stud.

  5. Quaker Nation says:

    Congrats Cam!

  6. Lax n Stuff says:

    Does anyone think Ohio State can be a final four team in the next few years?

  7. Jan Lax says:

    Some nice recruits coming in for Ohio State. Saw a few in the Under Armour game too.

  8. OSU to the 'ship says:

    @lax-n-stuff – why not, that is the goal of every D1 program every year, right? OSU has 3 UA All-stars coming in with this class, and 3 Empire games participants coming in fall 2011 – they had a strong Freshman class with alot of minutes this past season and had 3 1-goal games that could had they gone OSU’s way would have changed the season (true of all programs with 1 goal losses of course) Well funded program, young energetic coaching staff. The growth of Lacrosse to the west can only benefit a program like that. And the team plays in the ‘shoe every year! What’s not to love from an athlete’s perspective. And who knew? OSU has been playing Lacrosse for 62 years!!

  9. slacrosse says:

    OSU to the ‘ship

    Agree–Go OSU and all developing D1 programs!!

    Penn State with Trombino as coach could be another although maybe over a longer time frame then OSU.

  10. Buckeye Lax says:

    Cameron, welcome to the OSU family.

  11. Laxtime says:

    Besides Stephens who are the top returning goalies in the area next year? The Manhasset and West Islip goalies are back I know, but JJ, Ytown, Darien, Somers, Lakeland all lost their goalies.

  12. Just sayin says:

    Does ne one kno if the 2 goalies are gonna rotate games at Emps or if Stephens is playing most of em???

  13. Lax Magic says:

    How did Stephenson do at Emps??

  14. A Point for next year says:

    When you take two goalies and share halves like a travel team, it is what it is. The halves that he played kept ESG in the game in my biased opinion (FL fan) – particularly LI (3-2 after his half) and WN (forget but ESG was up I believe) He was 2nd in goalie stats of the 11 goalies in the tournament before the last game – then the bottom dropped out with the torrential rain and the bad lighting, excuses (fine) but terrible conditions for a goalie to see the ball against a superior CN team.

    Knowing what I know now (and I am no lax expert), take the ONE best goalie you can find and screw this half to half thing, it disrupts the defense and the entire flow of the team dynamic, period. And get the best FOGO you can find, period, as well.

    My biased opinion and I will leave it at that.

  15. Laximus says:

    Good points. I agree.

  16. Just sayin says:

    I heard Cameron is sick at football. Does ne one no what positions he playsss??

  17. John says:

    hey, nice blog…really like it and added to bookmarks. keep up with good work

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