The season is over, and it’s time to profile the remainder of the 2012 Michigan lacrosse recruiting class. The penultimate profile belongs to Ohioan defenseman Cooper Charlton.
Charlton might be one of the easiest players to write a post like this about, since he already did all the work for me. Not to be deterred, I soldiered on.
We’ll start with the size, which comes in at a consensus 6-3 and at or just above 200 pounds. With that out of the way, on to the articles:
He was named to the Under Armour Midwest team last summer, and was also on the 2010 underclass team along with future teammate Brad Lott. His profile from the 2010 team notes some of his accomplishments:
3 year Scholar Athlete – 2 sports. 2010 Defensive MVP junior year with 70 ground balls, 1 goal, 4 assists. 2010 All-Region (1st Team). 2010 All-State (2nd Team). 2009 Varsity Rookie of the Year. 2009 All-Region (2nd Team).Also plays basketball for his high school and this summer won Max Elite 100 Championship and was named to the Top 205 All-Star team. In his spare time, he enjoys snowboarding, basketball, frisbee, kiteboarding and music.
Many of these themes of being a very accomplished lacrosse player will be repeated. He was First-Team All-Ohio in 2011, and a Northern Ohio region U.S. Lacrosse All-American. He participated in the Reebok Top-100 last year. He was his high school team’s rookie of the year as a sophomore.
Moving on to comments… His commitment article from the Hudson Hub-Times comes highly recommended. A sampling:
“I’m very happy for him,” [Hudson lacrosse coach David] Blue said. “He was a captain and an All-American. He always put the team above everything. He gave little talks to the players and got them fired up. All the kids felt very comfortable because they knew Cooper was going to lead them.”
From a game report, he’s capable of shutting down talented offensive players:
“But Cooper Charlton’s defense in terms of limiting Medina’s best offensive player to just three points, Adam Coberly’s key assist and Tyler Zickel’s 19 saves were all instrumental in the win.”
More of the same, with bonus inspiration:
“Our defense really stepped up,” David Blue said. “Cooper Charlton did an excellent job on (Schell). He’s not only our inspirational leader, but he did a great job on one of the best scorers they have. For a high school kid to take over like that is huge. That was special.”
Not just a solid on-ball defender, he also has takeaway checks:
Medina scored late in the contest to reduce the deficit to 8-7, but Cooper Charlton stripped a Bees player of the ball twice in the final 18 seconds to seal the deal.
The coach comments page on his site is downright fawning. A few choice selections:
“Great physical upside. 5th year of HS at The Hill Academy in Canada will be a huge advantage for him.”
“Cooper’s character, leadership and communication skills, his high lax IQ and athleticism are super-charged by his dedication to always train, practice and play hard. He is continuously taking his game to a new level.”
From the local article on his signing:
Charlton also considered Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York and of course, the Wolverines’ fiercest rival, The Ohio State University in Columbus.
“It came down to OSU and Michigan,” Charlton said. “I liked Michigan because it’s a program that’s just starting. But my biggest focus was academics. I like Michigan’s academic program better.”
A trio of ECAC finalists is nothing to sneeze at, but they’re hardly world-beaters. From the sound of things, that’s because he and his family didn’t play the “recruiting game” early enough in the process, and missed out on some opportunities because of it.
That explains the post-grad year at Hill, and could mean that Michigan is potentially getting a steal (oooh, foreshadowing).
Teammates of Note
Charlton played for a pretty successful high school before going on to a post-grad year at what amounts to a lacrosse (and hockey) talent factory. We’ll start with the Hill Academy, since their team will be pretty easy to break down. Along with fellow Michigan signee Kyle Jackson, two post-grads signed with Division-1 institutions: Sam Lewis with Albany and Henry Elmhurst with Vermont. Colton Watkinson signed with Division-2 Limestone.
Three members of The Hill’s high school team signed with Division-1 teams, including Zach Kerrewyers with defending national champion Loyola and Nick Fonte with North Carolina. The third is Parrish Young with Delaware.
Two members of Charlton’s 2011 graduating class at Hudson High School back home in Ohio signed with Division-1 colleges. Robby Lynott played at UMass this spring, and Alexander Carlson (a fellow defenseman) went to Air Force. Randall Nye played at Division-2 University of Tampa. The previous year, attackman Jake McHenry signed with Hobart.
After Charlton’s sophomore year at Hudson, lots of talent went on to the next level. Defenseman Griffin Vehar was the highest-profile signee, picking Syracuse (where he’s played sparingly in two seasons after redshirting as a freshman). Midfielders Bobby Tyler and Evan Frankovitz signed with UMass and VMI, respectively. Three more Explorers went the D-3 route, including fellow defenseman Ryan Drought at Carthage.
Going off the lacrosse field and onto the basketball court, Charlton is two years older than a fellow future Wolverine, and forward Ben Gedeon will play football at Michigan.
Of Charlton’s many, many videos, I’ll use “Offense, Defense, Clutch,” which seems to show the most aspects of his game (it’s also the longest).
Visit the videos page on his site for much more.
So, although Charlton wasn’t a bigtime recruit coming out of high school (as evidenced by the choice to take a post-grad year at The Hill to gain more exposure and refine his skills), his profile is… pretty glowing, if you ask me. With the disclaimer that he’s made the information easier to find than other recruits, there is a lot of positive press out there.
Charlton has the size to be a contributor at the Division-1 level, and he also has been immersed in a lacrosse-centric lifestyle during his year at the Hill to add polish to the skill that had already earned him considerable accolades. He’ll effectively enter Michigan as a redshirt freshman in terms of experience, but a true freshman for eligibility.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Charlton find a place on the field for Michigan during his first year on campus – Lord knows they need the defensive help. With the reputation of a gym rat (and of course with the post-grad year), he may be a little closer to his ceiling than your average recruit, but that’s hardly a bad thing.