ESPNHS Top 25 attackman chooses Denison

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Blake (Minneapolis, Minn.) senior attackman Al Barnhart has made a verbal commitment to play men's college lacrosse for Denison University.

Barnhart, a 2012 graduate, was named to the ESPNH Top 25 attackman list and the ESPNHS 100. The crafty and quick 5-foot-3 attackman plays club ball for the Minnesota Elite team during the summer and was named to the All-Star team at the Battle of the Hotbeds tournament.

Denison University is a Division III program located in Granville, Ohio. The Big Red went 11-4 in 2011.

ESPNHS: What other school’s did you consider?

Al Barnhart: “I seriously considered a D-I offer, but if I was going to go D-III, Denison was my first choice.”

ESPNHS: What made Denison such an attractive choice?

AB: “I was initially attracted by the long tradition of success in lacrosse and the excellent academics at Denison. It was on the top of my list since the fall of my junior year, and getting to know Coach Caravana over the last couple of months just cemented my decision. I am enjoying my senior year, but I am also looking forward to being at Denison.”

ESPNHS: What surprised you about the recruiting process?

AB: “How fast it could change. When I started having real success at the east coast tournaments, it exploded and I ended up with serious interest from more than 20 schools. Prior to that it was difficult to get attention.”

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

AB: “What is it like to be a player at your school? Lacrosse games are fun, but the process of becoming a good player takes a lot of time - you have to love the process and I wanted a school where the team and coaching staff were enjoyable to be around.”

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

AB: “Listen to your coaches. I had great coaches along the way and the guidance that the gave me resulted in my improvement as a player and as a prospective recruit for schools.”

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

AB: “No, the process is not easy, it takes work, but anything worth doing does.”

E-mail lacrosse editor, Mike Loveday, at Email Michael.Loveday@espn.com with commitments. Follow Tom Peace on Twitter @HSLaxInsider