We’re finally off and running with the first NLF class of 2024 player rankings.
It’s a testament to the depth of this class that more than 100 players received consideration for the rankings, which feature the top 60 players in the country. As the class continues to make itself known, we will expand our rankings to include more and more players, particularly after their big recruiting summer.
Players from all over the country are eligible for the rankings, regardless of whether or not they play for an NLF club. Rankings are compiled after extensive analysis from club coaches, high school coaches and other prominent figures in the lacrosse world. We’ll be counting down to No. 1, starting with this 51-60 group. Be sure to check back this week as we drop the rest of the rankings.
As a reminder, feel free to check out the rest of the site for plenty of spring high school coverage. The NLF has covered games in Pennsylvania, Maryland, D.C., New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California and more, and we look to continue to increase our coverage. If you’re looking for game stories, standouts, player quotes, etc., this is the place to find it.
Without further ado, let’s kick off the class of 2024 top 60. All 10 players in this group are considered to be four-star prospects. More four-star prospects from outside the top 60 will also be announced soon.
Physically, Dykes probably wouldn’t be out of place on a college lacrosse field right now. At 6-2 and close to 200 pounds, he’s a nightmare to defend once he gets going downhill. Slowing him down in transition is an awfully tough ask of anyone. He’s a two-handed midfielder with shooting range and the ability to finish in tight with either hand. Dykes has as high of upside as anyone in the class.
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Ransom shined for Team 91 South at the NLF Fall Invitational, pairing two goals with an assist in an impressive win. He’s been a consistent producer for Ryan Flanagan‘s Team 91 Charlotte program, and he’s been lights-out this spring for Charlotte Catholic, where he recently hit the 100-point plateau. He also picked up Southwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors. Ransom’s a very creative scorer who’s never met a shot that he won’t try. Ransom thrives in making plays in traffic and also has underrated vision as a passer.
58. Hunter Aquino, attack/midfield, Academy of the New Church (Pa.) / Team 91 LI Wolfpack / Duke’s ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
With 48 goals and 27 assists with a bunch of games to go, Aquino’s been the go-to offensive guy for an ANC team that should roll to another Friends’ League championship. He checks in at 6-5, 200 pounds and looks like he could comfortably play at 220, so that’s fun if you have to defend him. Also a wide receiver / tight end, Aquino’s athleticism translates well, and he can score as both a righty or lefty. He also has terrific vision and the versatility to provide mismatches as both an attackman or midfielder.
Simpson’s going to be a four-year starter for Matt Triplet’s St. Francis DeSales program, and that’s not an accident. An athletic, physically-gifted defender with excellent footwork, Simpson erases opponents’ top scoring option as the top defender for both his high school team and Resolute. A smart, heady player who has an advanced understanding of slide packages and has a very high GPA, he’ll also see some LSM runs this summer, adding versatility to the overall package.
Gardiner really shot onto the scene with a breakout sophomore campaign for the Purple Eagles. He and senior North Carolina signee James Matan had a great connection that helped Gonzaga reach the national top five before Matan suffered a season-ending collarbone injury. Regardless, the lefty’s an excellent shooter who’s really come into his own after moving to attack from midfield less than a year ago. Gardiner’s capable of taking over a game, like when he fired home six goals to beat Landon (Md.). He’s also a hellacious presence in the riding game, always making teams work to earn a clear and frequently causing turnovers as a result of his hard work.
An outstanding ‘keeper who projects to be the heir apparent to the Brunswick starting goalie spot next year, Williams is battle-tested and has exceptional hand speed and stick skills. He put in a strong performance at NLF at IMG, he’s very calm in the cage and always finding a way to seemingly steal a goal or two every game. Williams plays with a wide base and is efficient in his movements. He doesn’t have very many false steps, squares up to the shooter well and gets across the crease with ease.
White impressed this summer at the NLF National Championships with how he was able to easily get up and down the field. SweetLax Florida is never short on athletes, and he fits the bill. He’s extremely fluid when in the open field, has a hard shot and showed that he can defend well, too. White will graduate from Lake Mary in 2023 and come into Syracuse as a 2024 after a PG year.
Elliott likely would have been a pretty coveted recruit had he stayed in Michigan as a ’23, but he could be even much higher on this list down the road as a ’24. He’s got a prototypical frame for the position at around 6-1, 200 pounds and throws good checks. Elliott covers a lot of ground and has an advanced understanding of team defense. Elliott, who has elite grades, is very strong and powerful, and once he gets leverage on you, you’re done. He’s been Taft’s No. 2 defenseman this spring and will be a lockdown No. 1 for the next two years.
Gately’s been extremely productive for the Big Red against a stacked national schedule. The Long Island native has posted a 19-18-37 stat line in Lawrenceville’s first 13 games, but his impact goes beyond stats. He rarely makes mistakes and lets the game come to him, and he’s been instrumental in the success of the Big Red’s 10-man ride. A One Percent all-star last summer, Gately is very skilled and uses his shiftiness and quickness to make defenders look foolish.
Another standout from one of Upstate’s perennial powerhouses, Herendeen is a lights-out shooter who doesn’t need much time and room to let it fly. At about 5-9, 160 pounds, he doesn’t have a huge frame, but he gets a ton of torque and power into his shot. Herendeen also has an excellent first step and outstanding vision, which he showed by leading Victor in assists as a freshman. He dodges with his head up and knows how to manipulate a defense to open up passing lanes.