For a young guy, Joe Rosen sure feels comfortable trying something unique.
The Leading Edge 2020 newcomer and Lawrenceville School LSM is an Oak Park, Calif. native, and he went to a nearby public school as a freshman. When he was looking to take his lacrosse game to the next level, he transferred to sports powerhouse IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., but when he got the opportunity to head to Lawrenceville, it was one that he couldn't pass up.
"It felt like Lawrenceville was a better fit for me, and the culture just worked better for me," Rosen said.
California, Florida, New Jersey? There's no doubt that Rosen likes to see what the country has to offer, and it played a role in his college recruitment. He's a seasoned veteran in New York City, and the thought of going to school and eventually setting up his career in the Big Apple was a major point of emphasis for him.
"Growing up, I'd go to New York City to visit for Thanksgiving, and I loved going to Central Park and seeing the Statue of Liberty," Rosen said. "There's so much that you can do in NYC."
So when St. John's started to recruit the 5-11, 160-pound speedster, it didn't take a ton of convincing, and eventually, Rosen opted to join the Johnnies' class of 2020. He's the 11th Leading Edge '20 to commit, all to Division I schools, and the first LE player to choose St. John's since 2013.
"I really loved what the school had to offer," Rosen said. "It's a Big East school and I really liked the facilities, and the business program made it even more appealing. Being in NYC, you can make some Wall Street connections. When I visited there, I knew it was where I wanted to go. I want to study economics and they have a wonderful business program, and I just knew that no other school was going to compare."
Rosen has all the qualities of a top-flight Division I LSM. He put up a staggering 22 points this spring as a pole for Lawrenceville, so he definitely has a penchant for pushing transition. Rosen prides himself on his speed and ability to push the pace, something that will definitely be welcome in the shot clock era. Playing with Leading Edge has required some adjustments to his game and practice habits, but they've been good ones to make.
"It's definitely been different than playing in West Coast events, and I've had to pick it up. Learning to go 100 percent all the time has been the most important thing, and the more I've listened to Coach Tim Roy, the more my game has come along," Rosen said. "The guys on the team have really accepted me and made me feel like I'm at home. The coaches at Leading Edge have really helped me learn team schemes and plays, which has been a big help, and I want to improve on my physicality and getting more aggressive on the field."
There's plenty to suggest that Rosen is far from a finished product, but his athleticism and stick skills will give him a chance to make an immediate impact at the next level. His work ethic and development haven't been lost on his coaches, and there's no doubt that St. John's is getting a skilled player that oozes upside.
"Joe has been a very welcome addition to our 2020 team, he's fit in seamlessly with a great group and he's boosted our team's athleticism at the LSM spot," Leading Edge director Chris Roy said. "He has speed to burn and he's just starting to scratch the surface of his potential. We're thrilled that he's going to a school that checks off all of his boxes, and we're excited to watch him play at the next level."
Add New York City to the list of Rosen's stops around the country.