Meet Casey Rose, the most interesting lacrosse player at Rutgers
When Casey Rose walked at his high school graduation, he was not committed to a Division I lacrosse program. The Corner Canyon High School (Utah) midfielder had planned to go to Colorado and play on the Buffs' club team where his brother Riley is a goalie.
But Rutgers head coach Brian Brecht is a very persuasive man, and it’s safe to say he found a diamond in the rough.
Rose’s journey to becoming a Scarlet Knight is not a normal one, and it starts with two current Rutgers players that were high school teammates of his.
Brecht originally had interest in Corner Canyon when he recruited current redshirt freshman defender Garrett Bullett. But his attention was also caught by junior Garrett Michaeli, and both of them have developed into starters on defense for the Knights.
Little did Brecht know, there was another Big Ten talent right in front of his eyes.
In a quarterfinal playoff game, Rose scored 7 goals and Brecht, who was watching the stream to check in on his two commits, took notice. Rose stayed hot in the semifinals, scoring another 5 goals.
"While watching (Bullett and Michaeli) in the spring of their sophomore year, that's when we saw Casey Rose in his senior year ... After his state championship, he had come and taken a visit," Brecht said.
But when Rose visited Rutgers, he still wasn’t sold. He graduated high school and took some time to think about it before finally pulling the trigger.
“I was pretty hesitant about it. (Brecht) was a really convincing man. The week of graduation I flew out and saw the campus then committed like a week later,” Rose said.
Rose spent his sophomore and junior years at Juan Diego Catholic High School, after which he transferred to Corner Canyon. If he had never made that move, there's a very slim chance he would have gotten noticed by Brecht and he would most likely be playing for Colorado's club team this spring.
Since then, he has played in every game possible for the Knights, starting 9 of 16 games his freshman year, all 14 his sophomore year and has started all four contests this season.
Last year, he was third on the team and led the midfield with 21 goals, and before this season, Inside Lacrosse named him as the best player in the country from Utah.
Rose's story doesn't end there.
Lacrosse might not even be his best sport. He was raised as a hardcore skier, and spent most of his free time growing up in the mountains of Utah.
“I grew up in some of the best skiing in North America,” Rose said. “I grew up skiing with a very high level of kids. In middle school, I ended up competing on the North American Junior Big Mountain circuit.”
Not only did he compete, but in 2010, he won the 12-14 age group. And his senior year of high school, despite being a student and varsity lacrosse player, he still managed to place fourth.
Big mountain skiing is a different breed of winter sports, one that isn't even in the Olympics, with Rose's YouTube channel proving what a dangerous endeavor it can be.
But in New Jersey, the mountains aren’t the same and Rose has other responsibilities. While it’s understood that Rose shouldn’t be taking those risks during lacrosse season, one of the first things he inquired about as a recruit was whether he could continue to ski over breaks.
“That was one of the first questions I asked coach Brecht,” Rose said. “He said he could not deny my passion.”
In addition to his passion for the mountains, Rose loves to represent where he comes from. In his official picture, he sports a bolo tie.
A form of neckwear more common out West, Rose said he wore it to represent where he comes from, as well as the other players on the roster from the West.
In addition to Rose's high school teammates in Bullett and Michaeli, junior long-stick midfielder Kyle Pless, the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, hails from Highlands Ranch, Colorado.
Not to be forgotten either is midfielder Zack Franckowiak, yet another Corner Canyon product. In 2016, Franckowiak was a midfielder who played in all 16 games and was named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.
Currently, he is finishing up his Mormon mission in Saint Petersburg, Russia and is expected to re-join the team next season.
With the exception of Air Force and Denver, the majority of Division I lacrosse takes place on the East Coast. Brecht has shown a willingness to push the boundaries and leave no stone unturned when it comes to finding players.
He has a pretty good track record, too, as the four members of the team from Corner Canyon have all been successful in their own ways, as well as Pless and his aforementioned accolades.
At the end of the day, Rose is proud to represent the West and certainly brings a unique flavor to the Rutgers men's lacrosse program.
"You just gotta represent the West," he said. "I like switching it up a little bit. It's easier to put on. I like the bolo tie, representing where we're coming from."