Young Tae Seo, the #7 recruit in the country according to collegeswimming.com, has changed his commitment from the University of Florida to the Naval Academy, he announced today.
Seo, who signed a National Letter of Intent in the fall, will take one year to attend the Peddie School in New Jersey, a preparatory school with a legendary swimming program, for one year before enrolling at the United States Naval Academy. He said that it was always his mother’s dream to go to the Naval Academy and serve his country. His mother’s health is not good, and he told us that when the opportunity came up, he just couldn’t pass it up.
For those unfamiliar with the process of being accepted to the Naval Academy, here is a description from their website.
A nomination is required in order to receive an appointment. All students can apply to their congressman, senators, and the Vice President for a nomination. Alternative nomination sources are also available. Applying for a nomination is a separate process from applying to the Naval Academy. All nominating sources officially notify the Naval Academy of their nominees by the end of January. Students should apply to all the nomination sources for which they are eligible. Appointments are invitations to attend the Naval Academy. In a typical year, approximately 4,000 candidates receive nominations. However, only 1,500 appointments will be given out. In other words, obtaining a nomination in no way guarantees that a candidate will receive an appointment. You will be notified of your appointment status by the middle of April.
The key is that students don’t find out if they’re accepted until April; and this is not a case of “well, you don’t find out, but if you had good grades we’ll get you in.” The academies process is highly competitive, and done on a completely above-board basis even when it comes to top athletes.
Seo, who swims for Crescenta Valley High School and SwimPasadena, is a huge grab in a class full of NCAA-ready-swimmers. In yards, he has bests of 55.38 and 1:58.57, respectively, in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes, plus bests of 1:47.3 and 3:47.7 in the 200 and 4o0 IM’s. Showing how versatile he can be in those IM’s, he has also been 49.81 and 1:46.37 in the 100 and 200 yard butterflys.
At Navy, though he will have larger pursuits than strictly athletics, he could serve a big role beyond just his primary events as well; he has bests of 46.84 and 1:40.69 in the 100 and 200 yard freestyles. The Midshipmen had pretty strong, and young, freestyle groups, but Seo’s potential when joining them could make him a part of that plan long-term.
Seo had considered both swimming and participating in Florida’s ROTC program: a precursor to military service.