Yes, Virginia, there is no clause banning early recruiting.
But no one had to tell Virginia this -- Cavaliers men's lacrosse coach Dom Starsia is well-aware.
In fact, the Cavs have become the first team to accept two oral commitments from freshmen, landing Sam Offutt of Landon School in Bethesda, according to Inside Lacrosse. A two-way midfielder who can also take faceoffs, Offutt plays club for the 2016 Greene Turtle Lacrosse Club (D.C.). This fall, Greene Turtle D.C. competed in UPLax and the Greene Turtle Fall Invitational.
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Offutt played last summer with Next Level Lacrosse and helped its under-15 team win Warrior Vail Lacrosse Tournament in Vail, Colo. He also attended the Jake Reed's Nike Blue Chip Rising Freshman camp and will play in the Rising Sophomore camp next summer. Offutt also plays soccer.
Offutt joins freshman long-stick midfielder/defenseman Jack Reilly of Conestoga High in Berwyn, Pa., who committed to Virginia this month. Two other freshmen have made oral commitments: attackman Forry Smith (Johns Hopkins) of Haverford School in Havertown, Pa., and defenseman Patrick Lyons (North Carolina) of Salesianum School in Wilmington, Del.
Change is on the horizon for recruiting in college sports, and the trend appears to be toward less regulation rather than more. The NCAA Rules Working Group has recommended numerous changes for formal adoption next month, including one that would allow coaches to contact recruits earlier in their high school careers; no rule exists regarding when players may contact coaches or make unofficial campus visits.
Other oral commitments
- St. Paul's sophomore attackman Carter Flaig has committed to the admissions process at Princeton. Flaig started every game on the varsity as a freshman, registering 20 goals and 21 assists. He plays for his dad, Jeff, on the Rock Elite 2014 team. Carter also considered Notre Dame, North Carolina, Cornell, Loyola and Georgetown.
- Junior midfielder John McDonald of Ballston Spa (N.Y.) High has committed to Towson. The 6-2, 180-pound McDonald plays varsity football. He's attended Maverick Showtime, 2011 Philly Showcase morning session, MVP and Peak 200 (all-star), among other camps. McDonald plays for the Albany Power club team. He also considered Harvard, Massachusetts, Penn State and Siena.
Inside Lacrosse contributed.