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UA men's soccer coach Caleb Porter cannot comment on Speas and Mason until they have signed letters of intent, which Spodnik said they can do in early July.

''The idea to be able to stay home to develop as a player, as a man and to win big was exciting for them,'' Spodnik said. ''They were also intrigued by the academic opportunities the university has to offer.''

Speas, of Stow, a central midfielder, is listed by as the No. 1 player in the class of 2009. He received the maximum five stars.

Spodnik said Speas chose UA over Indiana, North Carolina, UCLA and Virginia.

''All of the top-20 schools in the country were recruiting him,'' Spodnik said. ''A lot of it came down to what Caleb could offer as a coach and as a mentor. Ben thinks he can reach his soccer goals at Akron and help take them to the next level.''

Speas, who was a Parade magazine All-American, spent part of this school year in Bradenton, Fla., in the U.S. Soccer Residency program and attended IMG Academy. He has playing experience with U.S. youth national teams.

''He got up every morning at 6:30 and did more work than you could possibly imagine,'' Spodnik said.

Mason, of Akron, a forward, helped CVCA win the Division II state championship and compile an 18-1-3 record. Spodnik said Mason chose UA over Georgetown and Notre Dame.

Spodnik said both Speas and Mason will play for CVCA as seniors next fall.

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