CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- St. Anne's-Belfield sophomore Connor Shellenberger made a decision earlier this week, took a night to sleep on it, then made a phone call Tuesday night.
On the other end of that phone call was new Virginia lacrosse coach Lars Tiffany. Shellenberger was calling to tell Tiffany that he was committing to play for the Cavaliers in college.
"I've always grown up wearing the UVA jersey, always going to the games, always being at Klöckner," Shellenberger said Wednesday. "So it's definitely really cool to think about playing in my hometown."
Shellenberger made that commitment public Wednesday afternoon. Rated the No. 1 sophomore lacrosse player in the country by Inside Lacrosse, Shellenberger had originally committed to Johns Hopkins in the summer of 2015, but reopened his recruitment earlier this month.
While revisiting the recruiting process, Shellenberger said he began to realize the appeal of playing for the hometown Wahoos.
"I really started to notice recently how awesome it is, after going to the different schools and going through the process a second time," he explained. "I really started to get the hometown feel, and I really started to realize how awesome it is to be able to basically look across the street from my school every day and see UVA, and to be able to one day play in that stadium."
The idea of playing for Tiffany and his staff also attracted Shellenberger to UVA. Tiffany led Brown to the national semifinals this past spring, setting a program record at his alma mater in the process with 16 wins on the season. Led by Tewaaraton Trophy winner Dylan Malloy, the Bears led the country in scoring, averaging 16.32 goals per game.
"I think he's awesome. I definitely think he's putting the program in the right direction," Shellenberger said of Tiffany. "I think the style of play is definitely going to fit what UVA is trying to bring to the table. And I definitely think he will put UVA back in top five contention."
Shellenberger put up 21 goals and 18 assists as a freshman for the Saints this past spring, helping STAB reach the VISAA state title game.
"I think the sky is the limit for Connor. I certainly think we have incredibly high expectations of him here. I know Lars is excited to get his hands on him as well," STAB lacrosse coach Bo Perriello said Wednesday. "He's certainly a high-octane player, and I think he is intrigued by the high-octane offense that Lars and his staff bring from Brown."
"Last year their top three scorers were attackmen," Shellenberger said of Tiffany's Brown team. "So being an attackman, it fits right into what I want to do. I want to go to UVA, I want to score goals, I want to win national championships."