The first NLF rankings for the class of 2023 are here!
We’ve made a couple changes, too. Traditionally limited to players on NLF teams or who played at NLF events, the rankings are now open to anyone in the country. We’ll be unveiling the rankings in reverse order in groups of 10. It starts with this group of 60-51, for players 60-11. Then, we’ll be featuring the top 10 players with their own feature story. Who’ll sit atop the first set of rankings? You’ll find out soon.
We will also continue to assign star and numerical rankings to players, an industry standard for recruiting coverage of all sports. We’ve tweaked our numerical rankings since the last ’22 rankings to properly reflect how special players have to be to be ranked in the top 60 players in the country.
Ready? Here are players ranked Nos. 31 through 40. Click the links below to see the other lists.
Smooth Lefty Pole
No. 30 Walker Schwartz, LSM, Germantown Academy (Pa.) / Big 4 HHH (Highlights)
A dynamic lefty pole who is also a AAA hockey player, Schwartz was lights-out at the NLF Futures at IMG event, where he earned an All-Star nod. He projects to be one of the most sought-after GA recruits in maybe two decades, a testament to his ability to impact a game in the middle of the field and in transition. He’s got an excellent stick to go with terrific footwork and agility, requisite traits for a modern-day LSM.
QB1 and Elite Defenseman
No. 29 Cole Webber, defense, Garden City (N.Y.) / Shore2Shore
Webber is an elite athlete who’s also Garden City’s QB1 on the football field and is also a basketball player. His dad, Eric, played quarterback at Brown. Athleticism is absolutely not an issue, not to mention that he’s got a 6-3, 185-pound frame to boot. He’s big, fast and strong with a good IQ and a strong handle, and he’s the backbone of a very good Shore2Shore team.
Versatile Force All Over the Field
No. 28 Jake Spallina, faceoff/midfield/SSDM, Mount Sinai (N.Y.) / Team 91 LI Bandits
Spallina has his older brother Joey’s mean streak, aggressiveness and tenacity, although he’s a completely different player. He’s very good as a faceoff guy who can scrap and turn anything into a ground ball, but it’s his versatility that will appeal to so many college coaches. He gets up and down the field, plays tough, hard-nosed defense and his offensive game continues to improve. He’ll be in high demand because he can make an impact everywhere, a perfect fit as a shot-clock era midfielder.
Crafty Lefty Points Machine
No. 27 Caulley Deringer, attack, Episcopal (Va.) / MadLax DC Dogs (Highlights)
Deringer is an incredibly productive lefty, one that picked up MVP honors last September at the inaugural Nike Nationals for the champion DMV team. He is excellent in tight, showcasing a smooth handle and composure in the face of pressure around the cage. Get it to him inside of eight yards and it’s game, blouses. He knows how to get open and doesn’t need the ball in his stick for very long to be effective. Deringer has understated passing ability, too, and he does a great job of finding open teammates.
No. 26 Julian Targete, midfield, IMG (Fla.) / Laxachusetts (Highlights)
The highest-upside player in the class, and there isn’t a close second. Targete’s 6-3, 180-pound frame immediately gets your attention, and he’s got the shiftiness and agility of a 5-10 jitterbug. Dynamic scoring threats out of the midfield are always in vogue, and when Targete is dialed in, he’s incredibly difficult to stop. He does a great job of getting to his right hand on a regular basis. If he can shore up his consistency and continue to improve defensively, he’ll be a terrifying all-around threat at the next level, particularly as he adds size to his frame. He’s also really tough to slow down in the clearing game.
Havoc Between the Lines
No. 25 Pasha Hakimi, LSM, St. Albans (D.C.) / Next Level (Highlights)
Draw up a prototypical LSM and there’s a good chance it would look a lot like Hakimi. You notice the size right away, but it’s his ability to run by guys in transition and his offensive skills that really help round out his play. Sliding to him in the transition game is mandatory, but he also consistently finds open guys as a passer. He has an excellent handle and can make plays off the ground in tight quarters.
No. 24 Ty Banks, defense, Western Reserve (Ohio) / West Coast Starz (Highlights)
The Canadian has the mean streak, physicality and aggressiveness that you want to see out of a No. 1 defenseman. An excellent athlete who’s played a ton of box – like we said, Canadian – he really doesn’t have any discernible weaknesses. One of the better defensemen to come out of the Starz program in recent years, he’s also got the stickwork to make a sizable impact off the ground.
Cerebral Lefty Shutdown Defenseman
No. 23 Quintan Kilrain, defense, Lawrenceville (N.J.) / Crabs
Kilrain has all the makings of a shutdown defenseman at the next level. The lefty’s athleticism and footwork stand out right away, and he takes the ball away without going crazy on checks. An incredibly cerebral player who earned an All-Star nod at the NLF Futures at IMG, his lacrosse IQ is off the charts, so much so that…
“He’s the smartest player I’ve ever coached that’s not named Michael Sowers,” Lawrenceville assistant and former Culver and Princeton assistant Tucker Mizhir said. “He just has great instincts and a college-ready IQ and finds skip lanes really well.”
Butter-Smooth Left Coast Scorer
No. 22 Ben Beacham, midfield, La Costa Canyon (Calif.) / West Coast Starz (Highlights)
Beacham’s a legitimate scoring threat every time he has the ball in his stick. He’s got a plethora of moves in his arsenal, the ability to score with either hand, and he’s a very smooth initator who draws a ton of defensive attention. The Starz standout was excellent at the Nike National All-Star Games, and his slickness makes him a very tough matchup for anyone.
Bull in a China Shop
No. 21 AJ Marsh, defense, McDonogh (Md.) / Crabs (Highlights)
Some guys work best as quiet cover guys that you don’t notice until you see that their guy was held off the stat sheet. AJ Marsh is… decidedly not that. A very high-energy, tenacious and aggressive defenseman without playing out of control, Marsh is omnipresent around the ball and his off-ball defense is advanced for a player his age. Physically dominant at 6-3, 200 pounds, he uses his strength, power and stickwork to constantly create havoc and smoothly pick up ground balls.