For the most part, when it comes to high school athletes accepting scholarship offers, the more highly rated the recruit, the earlier the decision.
That is what makes Hamburg lacrosse standout Eric Chadderdon's decision to verbally commit to Ohio State quite notable.
Chadderdon is a junior -- just four weeks into his junior year and six months away from his junior season in lacrosse. But if you are good, no matter the sport, colleges will find you as early as they can.
Chadderdon, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound defenseman who was recruited by more than 30 schools, said he accepted a scholarship offer from Ohio State over Albany, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgetown and Harvard.
"Everything about the Ohio State lacrosse program was that they were a close-knit family," he said, also noting that he liked the program's policy that all players were required to have a 3.0 grade point average. "I talked to coach [Nick] Myers from the beginning and knew it was the right fit for me."
Inside Lacrosse magazine recently ranked Chadderdon the 24th-best lacrosse recruit in the nation in the Class of 2011. He played varsity in eighth grade, "and he's been the best defenseman on the field ever since," Hamburg coach Jerry Severino said.
Chadderdon's committment is just the latest sign among many that Western New York lacrosse continues to grow. There will be several others from Hamburg playing lacrosse in college -- including senior Shawn Needham, who has committed to Binghamton, and senior Ryan Feuerstein, who has committed to Albany -- where former Bulldog Frank Resetarits starred and younger brother Joe currently plays.
And that's just in Hamburg. Bishop Timon-St. Jude's Chris Kane has committed to national champion Syracuse. Timon teammate Brian Sullivan is ranked 10th on Inside Lacrosse's 2011 list. Orchard Park is sure to have its usual long list of college committments.
It's also another WNY recruiting coup for Ohio State, where OP graduate and inaugural Borrelli Award winner Jeff Tundo is currently a freshman. Tundo committed to OSU during early February of his junior year.
"Lacrosse in the area really continues to explode," said Severino. "Many of the best athletes are choosing lacrosse and college coaches can't ignore our area. They haven't, but now we're really getting some serious recruiting action."
Video killed the tape recorder
Last year, from time to time, I would try and see how many football games could be seen in one day and write about them on the Prep Talk blog. And when covering a game, the tool of choice was a tape recorder.
What a difference a little technology can make.
Due for a new mobile phone over the summer, I opted to get an iPhone with video capabilities, thinking it might be fun to see how it could be applied to being a reporter for a newspaper -- and a Web site, of course -- in 2009.
It has been fun, and it's been popular. As of Monday evening, the 86 YouTube videos posted at buffalonews.com have been viewed a combined 9,417 times. The most popular clip is one of Williamsville South quarterback Joe Licata's completions from his record-setting passing performance last Thursday, which had been viewed 760 times.
I stopped by Williamsville South Thursday to get some highlights, as I have each weekend during the season. The experiment started on Scrimmage Saturday and I'm finally getting the hang of it -- including keeping one's head on a swivel when the play starts coming right at you on the sidelines.
The new technology also adds a great aspect to interviews for feature stories or interviews after a game. Instead of holding a tape recorder, I stand there holding the phone up (and yes, it feels a little goofy) and record video interviews. I still get quotes for a story, and afterward the video sound bytes can be posted online. The Web version of the story about Lancaster's Friday night win over Frontier includes video clips of interviews with Lancaster's Cory Davis and Justin Juda and coach Len Jankiewicz.
All of the video clips are available for review at the Prep Talk blog.
Live chat Wednesday at 7
Before Week Four of football, it's time for Week Four of our weekly live chat. All high school sports topics are up for discussion during at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Prep Talk blog (buffalonews.com/blogs).