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Men’s Lacrosse: Three grads taken in draft

Michael Bryan | Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Three former Irish stars will take their games to the next level after being selected in the Major League Lacrosse Supplemental draft.

Midfielder Taylor Clagett, defenseman Ross Zimmerman and attack Alex Wharton were all selected in the draft held on Jan. 14.

Clagett was the first Irish graduate off the board in the draft, chosen by the Los Angeles Riptide in the first round. The former Notre Dame midfielder had been selected by the Riptide in the MLL draft in May, but did not see any action in Los Angeles’ 2008 season.

In his career with the Irish, Clagett was one of the nation’s top faceoff specialists, ranking No. 4 nationally with a .619 winning percentage his senior year. Clagett also led the team with 63 ground balls in his final season.

A leader of several strong Notre Dame defenses, Zimmerman was chosen by the San Francisco Dragons in the third round of the draft. The defenseman played in all 58 games in his career with the Irish, starting 45.

Zimmerman helped Notre Dame’s defense rank No. 4 in the nation his junior season and No. 5 in the NCAA in 2008. The Great Western Lacrosse League named Zimmerman to the all-conference team his senior year.

Wharton, drafted in the seventh round by the Washington Bayhawks, led Notre Dame his senior year with 53 points and 32 assists.

Wharton, who netted 31 goals with the Irish, helped Notre Dame rank fourth in the NCAA in offense, averaging 12.09 goals per game.

Clagett, Zimmerman, and Wharton will join three other classmates in the MLL that were selected in May’s MLL Collegiate Draft. Midfielder Michael Podgajny, goaltender Joey Kemp and defenseman Sean Dougherty were selected over the first four rounds of the draft and comprised the largest draft class ever from Notre Dame.

The 2009 version of the Irish, ranked No. 9 in the “Inside Lacrosse” preseason poll, will begin play with several new starters Feb. 14 against Loyola in Atlanta.