Rutgers adds Benjamin School (Fla.) senior

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The Benjamin School (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) senior, Rob Dattolo, has given a verbal commitment to play men’s lacrosse for Rutgers.

The 2012 midfielder gave his verbal to the Scarlet Knights on Sept. 10.

Dattolo totaled 77 points on 43 goals and 34 assists last season -- helping Benjamin School to a 19-0 season -- and earning All-District First Team honors.

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

Rob Dattolo: “I considered several east coast schools; big, medium and small. D-I, II, III and club. I wanted all my options open and had interest from coaches at all levels. In the end I went with the large University, which was my initial choice. “

EHS: What made Rutgers such an attractive choice?

RD: “Rutgers was the best choice for me because of its academics, its reputation, the coaching staff and the lacrosse team. Rutgers was a package deal where I didn't have to sacrifice one thing for another. It just fit at all levels. Rutgers got bonus points for being only an hour away from my grandmothers eggplant parmigiana and chicken cutlets!”

EHS: What surprised you about the recruiting process?

RD: “What surprised me the most about the recruiting process was the all hard work it took on and off the field and how early I had to start the process. I gave up holidays such as Christmas, New Years plus Spring breaks and summer vacations for three years to compete in tournaments and attend camps. In the end, the recruiting process was a race to the finish line as recruiting classes started to close. There was no guarantee, but my hard work paid off.”

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

RD: “The most important question I asked coaches was related to academics. Although playing college lacrosse was a dream of mine, when I met with coaches I wanted to make sure that playing on the team wouldn't effect my academics and that they had the academic support to help me if I needed it.”

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

RD: “I have a lot of advice to give other players and that is : Start early, keep all your options open, make sure the coaches see you play. If you can't play 110 percent don't go on the field. Never give up.”

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

RD: “The recruiting process would have been easier if the coaches didn't pick their recruits and close out recruiting classes so early before giving other players a chance to mature and better develop their skills before passing them over.”