Mike Preston

Mike Preston: Jake Carraway leaves his own lacrosse legacy at Georgetown | COMMENTARY

Despite recent regulations which prohibit the early recruiting of high school players, some of the lesser known Division I schools were able to take advantage of the past practice.

Take Georgetown University, for example. The Hoyas were able to sign senior attackman Jake Carraway out of St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis five year ago, and he has gone on to become Georgetown’s career leaders in goals (173), points (254) and fifth all time in assists with 81.


That’s not bad for a player who was labeled one-dimensional and was only recruited by Georgetown. Now he could win the Tewaarton Award, given annually to college lacrosse’s top player.

“My class was back when there was early recruiting, committing in the eighth grade was the norm,” Carraway said. “A lot of these guys were committed for years but there aren’t a lot of players fully coming into themselves until their junior or senior years. I just hunkered down and kept working. I went to every showcase event and thankfully got seen by Georgetown. I went for a visit and committed the next day.”


The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Carraway carries the proverbial chip on his broad shoulders while at the same time leading Georgetown. The Hoyas (7-1) are ranked No. 10 and Carraway has scored 29 goals and collected 11 assists with an on-goal shooting percentage of .693.

But this isn’t just about wins and losses for Carraway. He loves Georgetown. The Hoyas are his alpha and omega.

“At a team meeting he said Georgetown lacrosse was not the experience he initially wanted,” said Georgetown coach Kevin Warne. “But he told the players he was happy how the program had evolved, and he was happy to be a part of it. We have benefited from the hard work of a lot of guys and Jake was a part of it. And once you talk to him you can get a sense of how much compassion he has for this university.”

The love and passion brought Carraway back for another season. A finance major, Carraway had already accepted a job at Barclays Investment Center in New York before the end of the 2020 lacrosse season, which was cut short because of the coronavirus.

Carraway was on a torrid pace then with 34 points in six games including a hat trick in all of those games. He could have moved on to Barclays but was granted a year to go to graduate school and play lacrosse.

“I wasn’t nervous [about coming back], I had a lot of mentors who gave me some positive feedback and encouraged me to take the final year,” Carraway said. “Choosing Georgetown was one of the better decisions I’ve made in my life for a variety of reasons, and first and foremost, it’s an awesome academic institution.

“But I knew we had something special this year, everyone bought in and worked hard even without playing in the fall,” said Carraway, who could become one of only several players to score more than 200 career goals. “Coming off the first game I felt the excitement and it has just built up. So no, I’m not surprised by our record.”

Before the season started, though, Carraway knew he had to make some adjustments in his game. In the two previous years, even he admits he was just a shooter like he was coming out of high school.


But this year had to be different. He had to initiate and create. He had to find the open man when slides came hard his way. So, he spent last offseason trying to improve his foot speed. He worked on shooting more with both his left and right hands and wanted to became more of a threat as a dodger. Opposing teams are noticing a more complete player.

“Jake Carraway has always been a great scorer. He has turned into so much more,” said Denver coach Bill Tierney, whose team beat Georgetown, 13-7, earlier this season. “He can dodge, feed and shoot. He is the emotional leader of a great Georgetown team, one that every opposing coach needs to worry about when playing the Hoyas.”

Loyola coach Charley Toomey has already taken notice of Carraway and the No. 13 Greyhounds don’t play Georgetown until May 1.

“We’ve always known that Jake was a very good perimeter player,” Toomey said. “He shoots it with great velocity. … But Jake has become a multidimensional player who is a threat to attack his matchup at any time. Jake Carraway is an elite player who brings high energy to Georgetown program every time he’s on the field.”

Despite the high profile, Carraway just seems to fit in. There could be problems with fifth-year players and the regular senior class, but he has handled those dynamics well. He isn’t just a scorer or feeder, but a hustler who has picked up 105 ground balls throughout his career.

Carraway is confident, but far from arrogant. Some of his best plays are made in practice when he criticizes himself for missing a shot.


“Over the years and experiences of him playing and being around Dan Bucaro and Craig Berge have helped him develop, but a lot of it has to do with Jake, too,” said Warne, of Carraway who has scored 15 game-winning goals. “He knew he had to develop his game if he wanted to become a part of the conversation about the elite players in the country and he certainly has done that last couple of years.

“He has had success while being able to get his teammates involved. That’s a true showing of a team player, a great player,” Warne said. “I give him a lot of credit for doing a lot of work behind the scenes. He brings so many intangibles to our school. Now there is the opportunity for him to leave a legacy here at Georgetown. He wants to prove to people where Georgetown is and prove to people what he is all about.”