Christian Feliziani has had the Scarlet fever since he was all of four years old.
Don’t worry. His health was fine. But the 2016 Episcopal Academy faceoff specialist had always loved the idea of attending Ohio State University.
“It’s been a dream school of mine since the age of four,” Feliziani said. “Growing, I always liked the scarlet and gray colors, but getting older, I just kind of realized everything that Ohio State was all about. When I finally stepped on Ohio State’s campus, I told my dad that this is the place I want to be.”
That made Feliziani’s decision to verbal to the Buckeyes very easy, even though he had to turn down interest from Hofstra, Delaware, Princeton and future Big 10 rival Maryland to do so. To hear him say it, though, it wasn’t that tough.
“It’s a beautiful facility, first of all,” Feliziani said. “I also have a great relationship with (OSU head coach Nick) Myers and Ohio State has great academics, which is huge to me. I’m undecided on a major, but Ohio State has many, many opportunities for me.”
The Buckeyes will have joined the Big 10 in lacrosse for two seasons before Feliziani arrives in Columbus. Ohio State will square off with rival Michigan, Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers and lacrosse-only member Johns Hopkins in the league, which figures to be in the running for the title of best league in the country. That sold Feliziani on the Buckeyes, too.
“I feel that the Big 10 is going to be the best conference at the collegiate level,” the Chichester resident said. “And you have to beat the best to be the best.”
Feliziani didn’t start as a freshman for the Churchmen because of the presence of 2014 standout FOGO Matt Ernst. While he did see some time as Ernst battled back from a concussion suffered against The Haverford School, Feliziani knew that he had to leave his mark on the summer circuit in order to get recruited.
“Playing for NXT was the key,” said Feliziani, who plays for the club’s 2016 team. “Every tournament I was at, Coach (and Philadelphia Wings defenseman Brett) Manney and Coach (and also EA’s coach Andy) Hayes put out a good word for me.
“I think my breakout performance was at the Boston Legacy tournament. I thought I did pretty well. I made the all-star game and a lot coaches contacted me after that tournament. That’s pretty much where (the recruitment) started going faster and faster. The main reason that NXT is so good is the coaches. Coach Hayes runs the NXT program and he brings in phenomenal coaches, which in turn brings in phenomenal players.”
Feliziani hopes to get more playing time for EA next year, although he knows that he has to compete with the Lehigh-bound Ernst for faceoffs. That’s not a negative. It’s actually something he enjoys.
“I need to keep working,” Feliziani said. “Matt is a very, very good FOGO and he’s one of the reasons why I’m in the position I’m in today. Him, (EA and NXT faceoff coach John) Bodnar and (2012 EA All-American and Maryland sophomore FOGO) Jon Garino taught me everything I know.”
With lacrosse recruiting going on earlier and earlier every year, Feliziani knew that it was the time to strike. Not that he felt pressure, but the situation in Columbus was right, so he figured there was no reason to wait.
“There wasn’t really pressure. I’m enjoying this moment. It’s every kid’s dream’ Feliziani said. “At the same time, you have to realize that the opportunity isn’t going to be here forever, so while it was here, I have to take it.”
The Churchmen will have their work cut out for them in the Inter-Ac this year after losing 18 seniors and a top 2016 in Peter Gayhardt via transfer, but Feliziani doesn’t think the expectations will be lowered at all.
“A lot of people might overlook us,” Feliziani said. “But we’re just going to have to wait for the season. People can sleep on us. We’ll let our playing do the talking.”
Feliziani is the seventh public 2016 verbal out of Delco and the first from EA. The entire list of Delco commitments can be found here.
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