For Immediate Release – Brighton Lacrosse
Bryson sat down and answered a few questions for us about his recent commitment.
BL: Why did you choose Ohio Wesleyan?
BT: The easy answer is to say things like, it is a great school, the school will get me to my future career, I loved the coaches and it is a great team and all that stuff. Well it is all of that and more, but I had 4 main criteria for choosing a school;
1) Did I feel comfortable on campus, with coaches and players? If I am going to be 2,000 miles from home I want to make sure that in a month I don’t hate it and want to come home;
2) Would I have the opportunity to make an immediate difference on the field as a freshman?
3) Is the team currently competitive and vying for an NCAA championship?
4) Do they play my style of defense? I had a chance to go to a DI school like High Point, but when I went out on a visit and prospect day the coaches wanted to completely change my game. I can adjust for sure, but not go from up tempo pressure D to position only and no transitions from poles. I would have hated that. Style of play is critical for me.
So for me Ohio Wesleyan is a perfect fit. Coaches Plantholt, Keeley, May and Perruzzi, sat me down and laid out the program for me and where I fit. It felt right; I felt that they were really interested in me as a person, a student and a lacrosse player. They want to win, I want to win. That works for me. OWU is 16-0 this year, they are ranked #3 in the country and they are the NCAC regular season and tournament champions. They got the automatic qualifier for the NCAA DIII tournament and I think they have a real chance at a title this year and when I will be there also.
BL: What other schools were you strongly considering?
BT: Like everyone else I wanted to play for a big DI school. But last summer I had kind of a rude awakening when I was at the 205 West camp. I had probably the best camp I have ever had, I was killing it, I made the all-star team, my team won the championship on a brave heart, and they all picked me to take the face to win the game. Then after the camp coach Tierney from Denver grabbed me and my dad. He told us that Denver loved me that they loved my personality, my aggressive game and my energy. But, then he said that after my name on the roster it said “Utah”. Coach said that the top DI schools have their choice of thousands of players from all over the country, but that Utah players in his opinion were behind most of the east coast, Colorado and California players, when it came to lacrosse IQ, and stick skills. He said that they would let me walk on the team, but it would take a ton of work to ever get on the field.
Denver wasn’t the only DI school that pretty much said the same thing. I heard it from High Point, Maryland, Brown, Penn, Marquette and a handful of others. I could have played at start up DI schools like Umass-Lowell or Canisius but with my 4 criteria points I turned my attention to DII and DIII schools. I found that they had much more to offer, and fit my needs better than the DI schools.
So I made my final decision after interest from Franklin & Marshall, Amherst, Vassar, Washington College, Colorado Mesa, Arizona State, Washington & Lee, Gettysburg, and several others.
BL: Who helped you get recruited and walked you through the process?
BT: Well, the answer to that question is much more difficult than you would think. I learned in this process that there are a lot of people who say they can help you or you need to do things there way, but the truth is, as a player you have to get yourself out there. Go to recruiting tournaments; go to camps at the schools that you are interested in. Being on campus and with the coaches you want to play for is huge.
So with that said I guess the answer is: 1) Adrenaline—for most of my playing time they have been the only show in town. They do an excellent job putting on tournaments and getting coaches out to see players. Being on the West Coast Starz, national and regional teams being a High Rollers All Star has been really important and afforded me a lot of looks with colleges. So I need to thank Dan Mannix, Jono Zissi and Scott Hochstadt for their help via Adrenaline.
2) Going to Jake Reed Nike Blue Chip was also huge for me, and that came by going to the 3dlacrosse tryouts. 3d is one of the best run organizations ever. You don’t just play games, but they actually teach you stuff and see if you can learn it. I highly recommend any of the 3d camps. I also was invited to the 3d DI rising showcase last summer. It was the best training and recruiting event I had ever been to. There were about 65 coaches there and I heard from probably 45 of them. So I have to thank Ben Brenneman, Logan Bobzien and Jamie Munro for all their help.
3) Lastly I have to thank all of these people and organizations, each one of these people have helped me along the way teaching me, providing me opportunities to be seen by colleges, and believing in me. There is no special order here but my thanks go out to: all my teammates at Brighton and all the travel teams from Utah; the Utah Starz, Bruce & Colleen Grogg; Utah Blackhawks, Mike Isbell; Nick Gradinger, Ryan Walton, Todd Faiella; Walker Bateman; Brad Lavoie, Steve Dunn, Jay Fairman, Dan Mannix, Gary Albert, my BHS coaches, Brandon Horoba, Gerrit Schafrath, Jack Jones, Dave Wall, Joey and Mike Wilmore. My mom and dad have sacrificed a lot of time and money to let me cruise around the nation and chase my dreams. We have seen a lot of great places, shared some great times and had a lot of laughs and even some tears. I will forever be grateful to you guys for believing in me, teaching me and loving me!
BL: Any last words of wisdom to other players looking to get recruited?
BT: Believe in yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it, or you’re not good enough. Find all the help you can from local coaches, we have some really good ones. Practice your stick work and shooting; get stronger and faster, and outwork everyone else around you. Make Utah lax proud!!
For Immediate Release – Brighton Lacrosse