8th grade lacrosse star on Long Island verbally commits to Penn State

Kristin Thorne Image
Thursday, March 24, 2016
8th-grade lacrosse star verbally commits to Penn State
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Kristin Thorne is live on Long Island with the details.

BAY SHORE (WABC) -- An eighth grader from Long Island already knows where he will go to college, even though he's still months away from starting high school. Brennan O'Neill plays lacrosse and is so good, he has already committed to Penn State.

The 13-year-old eats, drinks and sleeps the sport, and now, it's paying off. He's not only playing on the Bay Shore High School varsity lacrosse team, but he just made a verbal commitment to play for the Division I college team.

"I love the big school with the big football, the big basketball and even lacrosse," he said. "But a lot of it was the amount of majors they have and the academic support they have, the way they do things. I just loved it."

Many may wonder if there is an NCAA rule that prevents colleges from making a verbal commitment with an eighth grader, but there isn't. The NCAA doesn't regulate when colleges contact students as long as it's before they're in the ninth grade.

"In the 18 years I've been here, I've never had a kid at his age with the skill set that he has," Bay Shore coach Tim Cox said. "It's just a testament how hard he's really worked at his game...he's worked really hard for this, and good for him."

But don't think Brennan is resting on his laurels. He practices several hours every day.

"It's a very intense practice I have," he said. "It's usually around three hours, well two hours with these guys and then after sometimes I play even more. And that's every day. I usually have a one-day break, and I might still play around a little bit."

Brennan knows college won't just be all about lacrosse. He says he wants to major in business and become an accountant.

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