Sophomores Down South: North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee 26s
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It may be early, but if the last few months have served as any indication, the Class of 2026 appears to have quite a bit of potential mid-to-high DI prospects throughout the Southern states. Leading the way in today’s post…
It may be early, but if the last few months have served as any indication, the Class of 2026 appears to have quite a bit of potential mid-to-high DI prospects throughout the Southern states.
Leading the way in today’s post in a ‘Sophomores Down South’ series, we’re a group of top North Carolina products, as well as ’26s from Kentucky and Tennesee who appear to be the best-looking recruits in their respective states right now. Check back for more content on talent-rich states like Georgia, Florida and Texas (among others) in the coming weeks.
Standing at least 6’3 and 200 pounds, the Raleigh native has size that’s rare for the position regardless of level. Winning the lion’s share of the draws to himself whenever I’ve watched him, he’s able to anticipate the whistle and quickly win the ball forward thanks to outstanding speed and technique. However, he’s just as dangerous when he doesn’t win the clamp, bullying opponents with his massive frame and length to gain possession.
Often lining up on the wings for Blalock’s 91 LI squad, Fedich is hard to miss and another ’26 worth highlighting. A physical and athletic presence at 6’0 and 190 pounds, Fedich does an awesome job of using his size to his advantage, which isn’t as common as you’d think for players at this age. Smooth off the ground and a weapon all over the field, he’s got the stick to match along with an excellent arsenal of checks, creating the kind of disruption that causes ball-carriers to stay away from him when dodging.
Parrett got on my radar after he made the Maverik Showtime All-Star Game, which has been the first and only time that I watch the rising sophomores during the summer, and he’s been excellent ever since. In October, the athletic 6-footer was one of the best defensemen at the IL ID Experience and put together an impressive all-around showing against strong competition. His stick skills really stood out, as Parrett threw some brilliant clearing passes that were right on the money and was a huge asset in that area of the game. It’s clear that he’s been coached well, too. Parrett’s on point with his approach and plays superb position defense, and when need be, he’s also disruptive with his checks, sending an opponent’s stick helicoptering into the air at one point.
NCF Triad Elite is now under the SweetLax Carolina umbrella, and that ’26 squad will be worth watching going forward. Face-off specialist Sean Brennan (Greensboro Day, N.C.), attackmen(Page, N.C.) and Jake Bisbee (Greensboro Day, N.C.), and midfielder (Jordan, N.C.) have also shown well as of late.
I really like Sturdivant’s game. Quick as a hiccup, the Nashville native has one of the best first steps among the ’26s that I’ve evaluated so far. In lacrosse, when you’re on the smaller side, you can make up for that with speed, toughness and skill, and Sturdivant checks all of those boxes and more. He’s super versatile as an offensive weapon and good things happen whenever he’s on the field, whether he’s playing attack or running out of the box. Sturdivant scores after getting to the island when dodging from behind, creates separation up top with a hitch or rollback, and can sling it from deep.
In just a few evaluations this fall, I feel like I saw Delaney score from just about every release point, a byproduct of his confidence and elite hands. The ball explodes out of his stick with his snappy overhanded release, but he also mixes it up with low-to-low offerings and sidearm shots that end up in the corners. Hailing from Louisville, Delaney can work his way back to the middle of the field more often than not for high-percentage offerings, sending home a few off-hip goals while playing for Madlax at NAL back in November. Although the Eagles’ depth chart looks loaded with veteran talent, Delaney is one of many Culver 2026’s that look like they’ll be able to do some damage as part of Jon Birsner’s program.