New Jersey’s Top Defenders to Watch in the Class of 2024
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The defensive side of the ball is loaded with a wide array of skill sets in the Garden State, from transition dynamos to lockdown defenders to all-around talents. As the ’24 class prepares for a final season of high school…
The defensive side of the ball is loaded with a wide array of skill sets in the Garden State, from transition dynamos to lockdown defenders to all-around talents. As the ’24 class prepares for a final season of high school lacrosse, have a look at five standout senior LSM’s and defenders in New Jersey.
Highly impactful on the club circuit with Legacy, the 6’0 lefty bound for Hopkins uses a combination of tenacity, strength, speed, and stick skills to affect the game on both ends of the field. He can flip the field in the blink of an eye and is a legitimate threat on the offensive side of the ball in transition. Having grown and bulked up, he uses his frame to get physical with opponents, and whether he’s going for a groundball on the wing of face-offs or playing 1-on-1 defense, Eye has the speed and quick change of direction to help him stay in front of his matchup. He lays hard checks on his opponents and often jars the ball loose before using his speed in transition, his bread and butter. Johns Hopkins is getting a promising all-around LSM to add to their already stacked roster.
is an animal. The 4-star bound for Cornell has all of the attributes of a player who could thrive at the next level as he heads to a program that has developed elite undersized defensemen. Whether he’s playing for Westfield or his Leading Edge, Marshall affects the game in a variety of ways. First, he’s lefty, but he’s comfortable with either hand. A very aggressive on-ball defender with sound footwork, Marshall often pushes out on opponents to pressure them and throws great takeaway checks. On the off-chance that he gets beat, he never gives up on the play and always looks for the recovery check. One of the things that I noticed and really like seeing is that Marshall always keeps his stick out in front of him to either throw a smart and well-timed check or to poke the opponent’s hands. He has great speed and quickness, which helps him in the transition game or when harassing an attackman and I could also see him possibly taking some runs at long-stick midfield at Cornell if needed. He’s not a huge player, but he is still very physical and puts his body on the line for his team. I like his work on ground balls as well, he likes kicking the ball to space when there is a scrum and then has the speed to outrun everyone and scoop it. Marshall is an all-around smart defender and I believe that will help him transition to the next level.
At 6’3,is a jack-of-all-trades type on the defensive side of the ball. The 4-star Princeton commit from Lawrenceville towers over opponents and uses his size incredibly well when defending on the ball, combining his height with great speed and a quick change of direction with exemplary footwork to keep his guy in front of him. In terms of his versatility, he can play either LSM midfielder or as one of the three close defenders and is dominant when doing either, and Morrow even played shortstick as a sophomore to polish his skills. He also has a really good stick, helping him with takeaway checks or when moving up the field in transition. I also noticed how much effort he gives on ground balls when defending on-ball, or even when running off for a substitution. With the height that he has, some players would just try to always take the body and lay big hits, but Morrow, while he has shown to get physical from time to time, he often takes a smarter approach and makes the right plays, usually leading to a positive play.
Paired on defense withat Lawrenceville and matching him at 6’3 is , a fellow 4-star recruit. The lefty close defender is your typical aggressive X defender, but the California native can also provide a boost from the wing. When defending on-ball, the Army commit likes to push out and pressure his matchup and has great change of direction and footwork when getting dodged. He also uses his size and strength very well to keep defenders away from the net, laying hard checks and keeping his stick out in front of him for poke checks. When off-ball, he stays active with his head on a swivel and sags in to help the rest of the defense. He has great ground ball skills, works well in transition, and makes smart passes in the clearing game.
is the first 3-star commit on this list, but on the high end of that scale. The 6’1 Brown commit from Middletown South uses a combination of his size speed and strength to be a bully on the field. He presses out when going 1-on-1, often breaking down and keeping his stick in front of him while annoying his matchup with checks, but once the opponent gets close, Richter uses his strength and well-timed checks to push him away from the net. He has good defensive awareness and strong stick skills, serving as a vacuum when the ball is on the ground with the ability to flip the field with his speed. He is very effective on clears with his stick and is a threat to score offensively, but he’s also able to absorb the contact from other players and stay on his feet to make a smart play. Following his senior year, Richter could be a candidate to see the field at Brown early on.