April 3, 2018
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The National Lacrosse League has a distinct Scarlet and Gray flavor this season, as several former Buckeyes are making their marks throughout the league.
Last September, a trio of Buckeyes were taken in the top six of the league’s annual draft, and the first one of them off the board – Jake Withers – is having an immediate impact.
Withers, who finished his Ohio State career as the program’s all-time leader in ground balls and a two-time Big Ten Specialist of the year in the face-off X, ranks first in the league in both face-off wins (221) and face-off win percentage (.655). His 128 ground balls through 15 games is third most in the league. In a 16-14 win over Colorado on Saturday, Withers won 25-of-32 face-offs and moved into sixth place on the team’s all-time list.
Austin Shanks, who went No. 5 overall to Rochester last September, is second among all league rookies in scoring with 43 points (23 goals, 20 assists). Fellow Buckeye and Knighthawk teammate Eric Fannell has chipped in with 31 points on 15 goals and 16 assists. With that trio, Rochester currently stands in a tie with Buffalo for first place in the Eastern Division with an 8-7 overall record.
The leading scorer amongst Buckeyes in the NLL currently is Logan Schuss, who is in his sixth professional season and fourth with the Vancouver Stealth. Schuss has 57 points on 24 goals and 33 assists. He’s on pace to potentially match the career high numbers that he put up in 2016 when he finished with 86 points (29 goals, 57 assists).
Jesse King is finishing his second season with the Georgia Swarm and has already scored a career-high 24 goals this season to go along with 26 assists. Kevin Buchanan is in his ninth season in the league and recently notched his 400th career point while Brock Sorensen is on pace to set a career high in ground balls (he has 71 through 14 games).