Even though he’s just halfway finished with his tenure as a Lambert Longhorns lacrosse player, midfielder Eric Overbay is already positive he’ll be in Philadelphia in two years, donning two shades of blue.
Overbay announced on his Twitter account Tuesday that he’ll continue his journey in lacrosse—one that began just four years ago—at Villanova, a private school in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
“Proud to say that I have verbally committed to play Division I lacrosse at Villanova! #GoCats,” Overbay wrote.
Eric began playing lacrosse in the eighth grade, and had received interest from local schools like Mercer University and Furman University before he made a few trips to the northeast for lacrosse camps. He went with a friend to Villanova for a camp in front of the Wildcats’ coaches, as well as Brown University staffers, and had what he called a “performance that raised (his) confidence.”
The following week, Overbay and his Lambert teammates went to a tournament showcase on Long Island and blew away a hand full of teams from the area—teams that had athletes who had been playing for over a decade, as lacrosse far more popular in the northern states.
According to Lambert head coach Rich Wehman, Overbay immediately began receiving recruiting attention following a weekend in which he had 14 goals and three assists from the midfield position.
“Once we left Long Island, that’s when people started contacting us,” Wehman said.
For most athletes, that major wave of recruiting attention would seem like just the beginning of a process between athlete and suitors that could last for a few more seasons, but when Overbay received an offer from Villanova, he felt it was too perfect of a fit. With a 4.2 grade point average and what Wehman called a “high ceiling because of his athleticism,” Overbay had his eyes set on schools in the Ivy League—like Brown—or the Patriot League, another Division I conference in the northeast.
“I never really thought about Villanova before or knew anything about it, but after doing research I really liked it,” Overbay said.
“Academically, they have an extremely good business school and an engineering school. My goal there is to go into the business school and then go from there, and see what I want to do along the way.”
Villanova’s lacrosse program has finished just near the .500 mark for the past few seasons after finishing 11-5 in 2011. The Wildcats compete in the Big East Conference.
Overbay still has two years left at Lambert. His younger brother, Ryan, will enter the program as a freshman this season. For Eric, his collegiate commitment to play lacrosse comes four years after picking up the sport in the first place—the same time he dropped soccer.
As a middle schooler, Overbay made the Georgia state team, the southeast regional team and eventually qualified to train in the U.S. Olympic Development soccer program before he picked up a lacrosse stick. After a while, lacrosse grew on him more.
“I loved soccer growing up. Still do,” Overbay said. “Lacrosse is just a little more upbeat and fast paced.”