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Lafayette, in Easton, PA, reached over to neighboring New Jersey to pluck its first Class of 2017 commitment from the nation’s No. 1 hotspot for lacrosse, the NY/NJ/CT tristate region.

It comes from one of the Garden State’s top programs, where attackman John Natoli of Mountain Lakes, verballed to the Leopards, a decision first reported when it was made more than a week ago by Joe Lombardi on’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.

The shifty, 5-foot-8, 150-pound Natoli is a quick and elusive righty with strong stick skills and good shooting and passing abilities.

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

What were the main factors in your decision?
(Lafayette Head) Coach (Jim) Rogalski and his coaching staff really made me feel like I am going to be a part of a lacrosse family at Lafayette.

Attending a strong academic college is important to me and the coaches at Lafayette structure their program to promote success both on and off the field.  I also really like the campus, its location, and the size of the school.

What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Boston University, Colgate, Holy Cross, Princeton and Villanova were schools I was considering.

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 6.45.07 PMI also visited BU, Villanova and Princeton.

What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
My stick skills and my ability to finish around the crease are my best strengths. My quickness and shiftiness are part of my style of play that help me use my size to my advantage.

How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
I’ve played lacrosse since the second grade. In Mountain Lakes, lacrosse is a big sport that all of my friends and I grew up playing together. I also play football in high school.

What travel team do you play on and what showcase events did you participate in?
I play on Laker Future and Steps Elite 2017. Last summer I attended Jake Reed Nike Blue Chip, Maverick Showtime and The Garden State Showcase.

Any final thoughts?
I would like to thank my parents for all the advice and support they have given me throughout the recruiting process.  I would not be where I am if it was not for my dad. He invested so much time into me this summer and I am very grateful for his guidance.

I also want to thank my teammates, instructors and coaches from my early years up to my current high school coach, Coach Tim Flynn.

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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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