When Khamari Culcleasure was a young goalkeeper still in the Washington, D.C., area, he was deadset on playing for a Pac-12, Big Ten, ACC or Big East program. They were the high-profile ones you’d see making College Cup year in and year out, plus the ones producing professional soccer players.
But as the college recruiting process unfolded, he began to realize that more mattered than the reputation of the soccer team he’d one day join. Instead, he wanted a balance of soccer and academics.
“You can lose your athletically ability in half a second, but not your smarts overnight,” Culcleasure, 17, said. “So I’ve leaned on that.”