Player Name: Jack Curry College Commitment: Stevens Institute of Technology High School: Charlotte Catholic Position: LSM Graduating Class: 2021
What other schools did you consider?
Lynchburg, Hampden-Syndey, Catholic and Lenoir-Rhyne
How did the school you chose separate itself from the others you considered?
As I approached my recruiting process, I always focused on where I could receive the best education possible while still being able to play at a high level. At Stevens I found that I could receive a great education, study engineering and be a part of a great team. I loved the area that the school is in and the environment as soon as I stepped on campus.
How would you describe your recruiting process overall?
My recruiting process was definitely a rollercoaster. COVID really disrupted the 2020 Summer which was the summer going into my senior year. We were only able to play in a few events and I did not start to receive any interest from coaches until the fall of my senior year. By this point, I was starting my application to the Naval Academy where I was hoping to walk on to the lacrosse team. I continued to reach out to coaches at schools to express interest and was starting to have some traction in my recruiting process in the fall. As the recruiting process went on, I learned much more about what I wanted and what would be best for me in school. In the late fall, I decided that If I was going to continue to play lacrosse in college I would go to Stevens but that I would continue my application with the Naval Academy and keep Stevens right there as an option if I wanted to play lacrosse. I was fortunate that the coaches at Stevens were understanding of my interest in the Naval Academy. In January of 2021, I received two nominations for the Naval Academy in addition to an offer for Stevens. It was a very exciting time but also very overwhelming as I had no idea what I was going to do next. I received great advice from my parents and coaches and I was going to wait it out and see if I could get an appointment. I knew that I may end up losing the opportunity at Stevens but it was a risk I was comfortable with. Ultimately, my journey has led me to Stevens and I am very happy with how it played out. I’m glad that I did not burn any bridges with coaches along the way and that I was transparent with everyone involved which helped me keep my options open.
What was your favorite part of the recruiting process?
My favorite part of the recruiting process was receiving calls or emails from coaches and realizing that coaches knew who I was and they were interested in me. I had always dreamed of playing college lacrosse and to see that dream come to a reality as the recruiting process plays out is an incredible feeling.
What opportunities and information assisted you during your recruiting process?
Team 24/7 (now Team 91) put me in the position to play against the best of the best at events and in front of a ton of college coaches. The coaches at 24/7 also helped me to decide on if a showcase was good for exposure or if it was just going to be a waste of time and money which my family and I appreciated. Without them, I would not have gotten nearly the amount of quality exposure as I did with college coaches which opened a lot of doors in my recruiting process. Coach Flanagan and his staff are also super helpful in how to reach out and respond to coaches which was really important throughout my process. I felt comfortable leaning on the coaching staff at any time given their experience in the recruiting process and how comfortable I was with all of our coaches.
Did you feel like you had support from the Team 24/7 Staff during your process? If so, how?
I definitely had great support behind me by the entire coaching staff. They all had my best interests in mind, and I found that they never gave me bad advice. They trusted me and I trusted them. It’s clear that they really want what is best for each and every player.
What individual or showcase events, if any, did you find the most beneficial during your process?
I found the tournaments that we played in during the summer we’re the most beneficial as they were the best tournaments in the country. We are with our team and coaches so felt like we played better than individual showcases. During COVID only a few coaches were allowed to attend but since every game was filmed it was super easy to send highlights to coaches after every tournament.
What would you tell younger players or parents to help them prepare for the recruiting process?
Keep working hard, it will pay off soon. The process can be a roller coaster but if you work hard, you’ll end up in the right place. You’ll always regret what you didn’t do.
Coach Flanagan on Carson
When we send our recruiting experience survey to our players, there is one question readers don’t usually see that asks for feedback. We want to know how we can continue to improve the experience of our players and as they come to the end of their time with us, this gives them an opportunity to provide feedback on their experience in the recruiting process, on the field and off the field.
When Jack provided his feedback, all he said was that he wished he had started playing with 24/7 sooner. He began playing with us in the Fall of his junior year so we got 1 Fall and 1 Summer together. The feeling could not be more mutual. We loved our time with Jack and wished we had a lot more of it. He’s a special kid who always has a smile on his face, he loves the sport and he loves to compete. He’s one of those guys who is extremely easy to coach and he gets better every time he is on the field.
To be honest, we never asked Jack why he decided to come play for us or why he felt the way he did about joining us earlier. We usually don’t care. We just enjoy coaching and getting to know the guys who show up to practice and Jack is really easy for any coach to like. As I mentioned, he always has a smile on his face, and he loves to compete. You can’t ask for much more than that as a coach. As practices and events started up that first fall together, we got to know Jack better each week. The more we played, the more plays he made. Jack has a good stick, he runs the field well and he has a rare ability to time up trail checks on midfielders above the cage. He creates turnover and then has the ability to run the field and create transition.
As time went on, our relationship with Jack grew stronger. He was having fun, he trusted our coaches and he was working really hard to improve. You could see him getting better every day we were together. We also started to tell his story to college coaches and his recruiting process began to unfold. He really wanted to study Engineering and there are honestly not a ton of schools with strong lacrosse programs and strong engineering programs. We had to be pretty targeted in our outreach and the odds certainly were not in our favor given the limited number of engineering programs at strong lacrosse schools.
As those recruiting conversations went on and as Jack continued to play well, more opportunities came his way. I’ll always remember a conversation that Jack and I had late in the summer before his Senior year. He had a list of 3-4 schools that he was really interested in that made sense for him from a lacrosse and academic perspective. By the time his process was complete, he was fortunate to have the opportunity to say “no thank you” to at least 2 of those schools at the top of his list and was headed to his #1 option in Stevens Tech, which has one of the top engineering programs in the country. Having gone through this process with over 60 players over the last few years, I think I can count on one hand how often that happens where a player has a list of 3-4 schools, gets opportunities at most of them and ends up at his top choice.
It wasn’t until I read Jack’s comment about wishing he came to play for 24/7 earlier that I started to think more about the situation. As I mentioned, we usually don’t care when or why someone decides to play for us. We are usually just too focused on helping the guys around us to give it much thought. After reading his feedback, I reached out to some of the other guys on the team about Jack to learn more about what his experience was like prior to playing with us. I’ll keep those details between the guys but the takeaway for our staff was pretty simple:
By creating an environment that allows our players to have fun while working hard and by focusing on not just building their lacrosse IQ but also their confidence, we can help them accomplish things they may not have believed were possible.
In our Scoop e-newsletter a few weeks ago, I mentioned how important culture is within our organization. Jack’s story is a great example of that. The culture our coaches and players create allowed a player to accomplish things that just one year earlier he was not sure he could accomplish. Jack will graduate as one of the top long stick midfielders in the Carolinas in the 2021 class, he was the captain of his team at Charlotte Catholic, he was named an all-conference performer and he’ll begin classes at one of the top engineering programs in the country at Stevens this Fall.
I think that’s a pretty good outcome for a special kid that deserves it.