TD Ierlan, Nation’s Top Faceoff Specialist, Plans to Transfer to Denver

The most prolific faceoff specialist in NCAA lacrosse is eyeing a spring transfer to the University of Denver for the 2021 season, according to US Lacrosse Magazine. Ierlan picked up an additional season of eligibility due to COVID-19 and is said that he was ‘intrigued’ by the idea of joining fellow former Yalies Jackson Morrill and Lucas Cotler at Denver after entering the transfer portal. Ierlan, the best faceoff man in the history of college lacrosse, based on win percentage (see below, and yes, better than Trevor Baptiste), is intent on transferring from Yale if the Ivy League skips this season of play due to COVID-19.  Should the Ivies decide to play this spring, Ierlan may withdraw his name from the portal and decide to stay at Yale.

Since DU is on the quarter system, Ierlan could begin to play Mid-March after the Winter Quarter ends. That would allow Ierlan to play 6-7 Big East games at the “X” before the conference tournament in Providence, the one in Rhode Island. In his appearance on the Post Game Podcast today, Ierlan indicated his plan to come to Denver and hopes to travel from upstate New York in the next couple of weeks.

In the interim, Denver lacrosse will still be set at the position with junior Brett Boos and sophomore Alec Stathakis, both of whom have provided stability at the position since Trevor Baptiste graduated. However, Ierlan’s career achievements speak for  themselves and would vault Denver into the national championship conversation the day Ierlan attended his first day of class in the spring.

Ierlan did tell US Lacrosse Magazine, however that there are “still a lot of hurdles to go through” such as the Ivy League’s decision to play or not, NCAA red tape, and registration/admissions.

Ierlan’s accomplishments listed below from his Yale lacrosse profile:

Career Notes: First overall pick in the 2020 MLL Draft by New York… Three-time All-American… Two-time first-team All-American… Tewaaraton Award Finalist…  Two-time conference player of year… Transferred to Yale after two years at the University of Albany.

Ierlan’s NCAA Records:
Ground balls in a game: 29 against Georgetown 2019 5.11.19
Ground balls in an NCAA Tournament Game: 29 vs. Georgetown in 2019
Ground balls in a season: 293 in 2019, second with 254 in 2018
Ground balls in a career: 810
Ground balls per game season: 1st and 2nd with 15.42 in 2019, 13.37 in 2018
Face-offs won in an NCAA Tournament game: 31 vs. Georgetown in 2019
Face-offs won in a season: 393 in 2019, second with 359 in 2018
Face-offs won in a career: 1,159
Face-off winning percentage in game: 26-26 against Harvard 2019
Face-off percentage in a season: .791 in 2018 at Albany

Records Note: Ierlan’s career face-off percentage and career ground ball average would also be records after 4 games in 2020.

2020: IL Pre-Season All-America First Team… USILA Warrior & NB Pre-Season All-America First Team… Tewaaraton Award Watch List… NEILA Pre-Season All-New England First Team… Nominated for Senior Class Award… Set NCAA career ground ball record in a win at Penn State (2/22)… Set NCAA career record for face-off wins during a win over Michigan (3/7)… US Lacrosse Player of the Week (3/9)… USILA Team of the Week (3/9).

Tewaaraton Award Finalist… USILA Warrior & NB All-America First team… 1st Team IL Media All-America… Ivy League Player of Year… First-team All-Ivy… All-New England… Four-time USILA Team of Week, Ivy League POW… Led nation in percentage and GBs… Broke NCAA record for single game with 26-for-26 day at Harvard… NCAA Tournament record 31 wins vs. Georgetown… Also broke overall NCAA record for ground balls in a game with 29 against Hoyas… Broke own NCAA season record for FOW and ground balls…

2018: Set Division I records for face-off percentage (.791), face-off wins (359) and ground balls (254)… USILA and Inside Lacrosse All-American… Tewaaraton nominee… America East Defensive Player of the Year, All-Conference First Team, Tournament Most Outstanding Player, All-Academic Team… • Inside Lacrosse Midseason and Preseason Media All-American… Three perfect face-off games… Six goals and 11 points… Won combined 48-of-49 face-offs in the America East Tournament, grabbing 35 ground balls, including perfect 20-for-20 vs. Vermont… Went 16-for-21 with a goal and nine ground balls in win at Syracuse (2/17)… 24-for-24, one shy of NCAA record, with 22 ground balls in 11-9 home win over Cornell (3/4)… 24-for-24 with 21 ground balls in home win vs. Stony Brook (3/31)… 24-for-29 with 21 ground balls and an assist in NCAA First Round victory vs. Richmond (5/12)

2017: Inside Lacrosse Media Second Team All-American, USILA Third Team All-American… America East Rookie of the Year, All-Conference First Team, All-Rookie Team, and All-Tournament Team… Second in Division I with a .708 face off win rate and first with 11.22 ground balls per game… Won 323 total face-offs, 2nd-highest single-season total in Division I history and first in UAlbany history… Earned 202 ground balls, the 4th-highest single-season total in Division I history and first in UAlbany history… Four goals and 10 points… One-time Epoch/US Lacrosse Player of the Week and Epoch IL Committed Academy Rookie of the Week… Five-time America East Rookie of the Week… Won 15-of-21 (71.4%) with 12 ground balls and first career goal and assist in road win at Cornell (3/5)… 26-for-32 (81.3%) with 18 ground balls and a goal in win at Harvard (3/29)… 26-for-30 (86.7%) with 20 ground balls and a goal in win at Stony Brook (4/1)… 23-of-30 face-offs (76.7%) with 11 ground balls and an assist in NCAA First Round victory vs. North Carolina (5/13).

At Victor High School: Lettered four years in lacrosse… Led lacrosse team to 2015 and 2016 New York State championship and three Section V titles… 2015 and 2016 US Lacrosse All-American… 2015 and 2016 All-Greater Rochester Player of the Year… Lacrosse Magazine New York State and Northeast Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016… Three-time First Team All-Section V player… Finished with 83% face-off rate, 661 ground balls, 1,135 face-off wins, 35 goals and 15 assists in career.

Photo courtesy of Yale Athletics

One thought on “TD Ierlan, Nation’s Top Faceoff Specialist, Plans to Transfer to Denver”

  1. This would be a great, amazing pickup for DU, if it happens. But it’s still a theory and not reality yet…There is quite a bit still to work out between the Ivy League, DU, Yale and the NCAA to make it all happen, if it happens.

    From what I’ve read, he wants to get his Yale undergrad degree (Can’t blame him for that – I don’t know anyone who would trade a Yale degree for a DU degree), which requires one more Yale class plus his senior thesis. While I am sure DU will be as flexible as it needs to be, how the NCAA (and Yale) will allow a full-time enrolled DU undergrad to get a Yale undergraduate degree is something that may be beyond my pay grade to figure out…He’ll need to take at least one DU class that Yale will transfer into Yale credit, at least, plus the thesis), and I’m not sure how the NCAA will allow that…

    The other thing to remember is that the NCAA changed the faceoff rules this year (no more moto grip, no more playing on one knee for leverage) so it remains to be seen if he’s a 70% winner under the new rules.

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