Gunnar Bentz, who we ranked as the #6 recruit in the class of 2014, has made his verbal commitment to
Dynamo East the Georgia Bulldogs this evening. He is at least the 6th Dynamo Swim Club senior to choose Georgia in the class of 2014.
Bentz should be a great fit at Georgia. On the one hand, he’s the type of IM’er/200 stroker that Georgia has been awesome with in the past few seasons, with NCAA Champions Chase Kalisz (2013 – 400 IM), Mark Dylla (2011 – 200 fly), and Bill Cregar (2011 – 400 IM). Going back further, Robert Margalis was a 2003 NCAA Champion in that same 400 IM).
Bentz, meanwhile, is the best long course IM’er in the class of 2014, and second only to Stanford commit Curtis Ogren in yards.
Bentz has been 1:45.17/3:45.80 in the 200 and 400 yard IM’s. That 400 IM time would have made him the first swimmer out of the B-Final at last year’s NCAA Championship meet, so two seasons later, he’ll surely be a freshman scorer.
Bentz’s success in the 400 IM is no secret. In yards, he has a US Open cut (the highest available) in the 200 fly (1:45.66), 200 breast (1:56.59), and the 200 yard back (1:46.05).
But his potential relay contributions are what make him even better for Georgia, given that despite their individual success, the Dogs are just now starting to put together really good men’s relays.
Bentz has been 55.0 in the 100 breast, 48.5 in the 100 fly, and 45.3 in the 100 free.
If that weren’t enough, he’s also been 1:37.0 in the 200 yard free and 4:26.8 in the 500 yard free; and as a sophomore in high school, he went a 16:27 in his mile freestyle at a meet that had no real focus or taper.
Simply put: the 6’4, well-built Bentz is a star, and has the potential to be an All-American in just about any event he chooses.
The IM’s, though, seem to be his real future. He was the Junior World Champion in both the 200 IM and 400 IM in long course this summer, including a championship record of 4:14.97 in the longer event. With the older generation of American swimmers starting to shy away from the 400 IM, Bentz and Kalisz could, as training partners, be the American representatives at the 2015 World Championships and/or the 2016 Olympics. Bentz’s time ranked him 19th in the world in 2013.
Among other programs Bentz visited included USC and Cal.