Carthage is the reigning National Champion (again), we’ve had a few weeks off, and it’s finally that time of year we begin to look towards 2023! There’s no better way to kick things off than with our annual Impact Recruits series, where Harvey and I take a look at some of the incoming recruits for 2023.
As I wrote last May, the odds are always stacked against incoming Freshmen when they join the DIII landscape. In the grand scheme of things, most of the athletes in any freshmen class are simply not going to make an impact on the division (at first). While they may have been dominant in High School, the college game is intrinsically different even at the DIII level.
This is not to say “first years” cannot make waves, as talented newcomers always end up making a name for themselves. The 2022 season had a ton of freshmen showcased across the landscape, and I suspect 2023 will be no different. We will have the fullest possible picture of the landscape by the end of the summer when everyone program has fully released their classes. We will be releasing multiple segments of athletes we have our eyes on coming into 2023.
Like the piece I wrote last year, the list below is by no means exhaustive, and is displayed in alphabetical order so no one should be saying they are “ranked” in any meaningful way. For emphasis, we’ll be doing several segments throughout the summer, so don’t email me asking “why was my son not listed ☹” (looking at you parents!, YOUR KIDS HATE WHEN YOU DO THIS AND SO DO I).
Max Barr – Opposite – Juniata
If there was a team last year that needed help at the Opposite position, it was Juniata. A 6’7’’ lefty out of Yorktowne, Max has been a force in the East Coast club circuit and the hype is real. I could see him sliding into the starting line-up almost immediately at Juniata. With Kevin Duffy returning alongside another year of development with Hoffman, Ganter, and Goldsborough… the Juniata core is poised to be a force in 2023.
Christian Herr – Setter/Opposite – Lancaster Bible
Very likely the most well-known recruit this year, the 6’2” Setter/Opposite of PME Volleyball fame officially committed to Lancaster Bible College this past winter.
The utility of a Setter who can dish and swing is a huge plus to any program and I’m sure that’s not lost on Coach Brubaker. Combine this with his skill as a blocker, and I’d bet we see Herr on the court for the Chargers sooner rather than later.
Talon Kohler – Outside Hitter – Springfield
The 6’4 outside from Arizona has caught my eye this club season, and for good reason. A big physical hitter who can put the ball away at the pin checks a lot of boxes and reminds me a lot of Jordan Shinaut (freshman Opposite at Lasell) from this past year. If Kohler can adapt to the speed of Springfield’s offense I wouldn’t be surprised to see him compete for time next season.
Ryan Morey – Setter – Carthage
An absolute STEAL by Coach JW and the Firebirds. A 6’7 setter who can set tempo at any spot on the net AND swing. The Firebirds don’t use their Opposites as much in their offense as other programs, so I can very easily see Morey running a 6-2 alongside McNulty (current 1st team all-American setter at Carthage) to throw the occasional back three to the floor to keep opposing defenses honest. Keeping Morey front row to swing and back row to set gives the Firebirds another potential weapon alongside their returning championship core of Markes, Bulthuis, McNulty, and Schmidt.
Michael Yurk – Outside/Opposite Hitter – Wittenberg
Michael Yurk comes to Wittenberg alongside a very talented incoming class. The flexible pin hitter caught my eye earlier this year and I can only say I’ve been impressed at his speed and connection with tempo plays. He’ll be a threat on the court regardless of playing on the left or right pin.