To find the hometown of freshmen D.J. Edler, Jordan Smith and Allasane “Sane” Kane take 95 south 1,150 miles south until you hit Atlanta, GA,
More than a thousand miles from home, the three highlight-reel freshman found their way to frigid Vermont with hopes to inject a new style into Vermont soccer.
Kane, the most soft-spoken of three, was the first to commit to being a Catamount after being discovered by head coach Jesse Cormier at his boarding school in Massachusetts.
After developing a solid foundation with Kane, Cormier found himself with his first of the three Georgia recruits.
Cormier stumbled upon Smith while on vacation in Florida. After seeing Smith play, Cormier took a trip to Smith’s house in Georgia and began building a relationship with his family.
“After that I took an official visit and I liked it. More importantly my mom liked the coaches, so I’m here now. I like it.” Smith said.
Edler, the final leg of the Georgian tripod, was discovered at a tournament in the Midwest by Cormier, who was able to pick up a third commitment.
Once the trio arrived on campus, they shared the common goal of improving the Cats and infusing their Atlanta style into the team.
“This team is lacking style, so we’re bringing it to them.” Smith said.And that style?
“Calm, cool and collected.” He said.
The usually-quiet Kane explained that, in Atlanta, it’s about “always keeping it lively and keeping it fresh.”
This lively style can be seen when the trio take to the pitch, where their physical skills and speed are undeniable.
Smith keeps it fresh on the field by sporting bright red cleats to compliment his blazing speed.
“My motto is: play good, look tight,” Smith said. “I’ve always worn flashy shoes to stand out.”
The injection of southern style into the veins the program is noticeable on in the locker room as well, where the Atlanta boys are known to loosen up the team by cracking jokes and pulling pranks.
But Edler is careful to point out that the trio brings more than just style.
“There’s definitely going to be more excitement,” Edler said.
Smith added that the players enjoy being flashy, but their game features much more than raw skill and athleticism.
“We’re all soccer players, we bring passion and have a knowledge of the game, we’re not just running our heads off,” Smith said.
“We want to play the right way and try to communicate to everyone the way we want to play and stick to that,” Edler added.
Generally the process of assimilating with a team while being from so far away can be difficult.
But the Atlanta boys have a common thread stitched between them which helped their transition to college where they were received well by the team.
“They love it [the southern influence],” Kane said.
“One thing I always wanted was to go to college with someone I already know from home,” Smith added.
According to the trio the pipeline that has been forged will only expand and are confident that their southern swagger can and will benefit the Catamounts.