I thought I knew everything there was to know about Cornell’s Rob Pannell. The All-Everything attackman, who stands at 5’9″ 160lbs, has won more than just games for the Ithaca school. Pannell has won the hearts of almost every lacrosse fan by dominating the game in a classy way. He doesn’t command negative attention towards himself after a hat-trick performance or demand more recognition than his team as a whole.
From the outside looking in, he is the quintessential student-athlete with a room full of accolades. His story, however, could’ve never happened had he chosen to stick to his commitment with Quinnipiac University to play lacrosse.
The Ithaca Journal reads…
Back in 2007, following a solid but unspectacular junior campaign at Smithtown High, the young attackman was recruited and eventually committed to Quinnipiac University to play lacrosse. The following spring, however, a much bigger and stronger Pannell saw his career take off, and received enough attention from some of the top programs to make him rethink his initial college decision.
The only issue was Pannell was unable to obtain a release from Quinnipiac, meaning that under NCAA regulations he was prohibited from talking with any schools outside of the Ivy League.
With his uncle Jim Metzger — an All-American attackman at Hofstra in 1980 — and his parents in his corner, Pannell carefully weighed his options, which ranged from attending a prep school to applying to one of the Ivies to following through on his commitment to Quinnipiac.
Finally, just two weeks before classes were set to begin, the Pannell camp received a call from Deerfield Academy, a renowned prep school in Massachusetts, offering him the school’s last athletic scholarship, not as a lacrosse recruit — for which all slots have already been filled — but to play basketball.
After playing point-guard for Deerfield in the winter, Pannell, who played basketball for three years in high school, “walks on” to the academy’s lacrosse team. That season, Pannell scored a school-record 99 points on his way to being recognized as the top attackman at his level, solidifying his place as one of the biggest prizes in the upcoming Ivy League recruiting race.
In the offseason, and after being heavily courted by a number of the Ivies, Pannell finally chose Cornell, which ironically is the “last school to come into the picture,” he said.
The rest is quite literally history. Continue Reading…