Needham (Mass.) attacker chooses Fairfield

Nico Panepinto from Needham (Needham, Mass.) Courtesy Panepinto Family/ESPNHS

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Needham (Needham, Mass.) junior attacker, Nico Panepinto, has given a verbal commitment to play men’s lacrosse for Fairfield University.

The 2013 graduate totaled 87 points last year as a starting attackman and was named first team All-Bay State Conference.

ESPN High School: What other school’s did you consider?

Nico Panepinto: I also considered UMass, Notre Dame, Yale, High Point

EHS: What made Fairfield such an attractive choice?

NP: “I've always loved Fairfield. I first heard about it from my buddy (Frankie Wheeler-Larusso) last year who is a sophomore there now, and he had nothing but great things to say about it. After hearing about it from him I researched it a little bit and instantly knew it would be a great fit for me. The location was perfect, the size was great, and I loved the fact that the mascot was a Stag. And then once I actually started getting recruited by Coach Cope and the rest of the staff I was psyched and couldn't wait to get on campus. They got me up for a visit over this past summer, and once I stepped on campus and met the coaches, in my mind I had already decided. So we set up an overnight in September, where I met most of the team which was awesome, and the next day we sealed the deal.”

EHS: What surprised you about the recruiting process?

NP: “I was really surprised how fast the process came and went. One day I wasn't getting any looks, and then after one fall ball tournament I was talking to coaches. Then this whole year flew by and before I knew it, it was all over.”

EHS: What was the most important question you asked college coaches during the process?

NP: “The most important thing for me was learning what the coach stood for, and how he operated the team. If I agreed with what he stood for it was definitely a game changer.”

EHS: What one piece of advice would you give to other players who are just starting on the recruiting process?

NP: “I would definitely tell them to be patient, and there's a place for everyone. Also the biggest thing I learned was how much one day can make a difference, so always go out there and give it your all and you will get noticed.

EHS: Is there anything about the recruiting process that you think could change that would have made it easier or less stressful for you?

NP: “I think allowing coaches to call you back would help a ton with communication, it's hard to talk when only one person can initiate the conversation.”