Auburn Picks Up Four New Verbal Commitments in Class of 2014

The Auburn Tigers’ recruiting class of 2014 has more than doubled in the last 24 hours, with four new verbal commitments.

The swimmers  are Genny Pittman and Ashton Ellzey from Alabama, McKenna Debever from Florida, and for the men’s team, Grant Schenk from California.

First, head coach Brett Hawke and his staff shored up two of the top three recruits in what is one of the best classes out of the state of Auburn’s home state of Alabama in years.

Ellzey swims for the City of Mobile Swim Association, and has best times of 23.30 and 51.74 in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle. For Brett Hawke, that kind of pure-sprinter, is right up his program’s alley. She seems to have tremendous potential as well: the 2012-2013 season saw the 10 fastest 50 yard freestyles of her career.

Pittman comes from Birmingham, and is also a supremely-talented sprint freestyler. As a high school freshman, she was 23.33 in the 50 yard free. Though that remains her best time, she’s made big improvements in other parts of her schedule. That includes a 51.25 in the 100 free, a 54.61 in the 100 back, and a 2:00.50 in the 200 back: all of which came during her junior season.

She throws on top of those numbers a 55.77 in the 100 yard fly.

Going outside of the state, Debever comes from the high-profile Bolles program in Jacksonville that has a big history of sending swimmers to Auburn (there are four current Bolles alums on the Auburn team). Yet another sprinter, she has bests of 23.84 and 50.85 in the 50 and 100 yard freestyles, plus 56.19 in the 100 yard back.

Auburn’s recruiting target with this class was clear: get as many athletic sprinters on campus as possible, and see what happens once they’re there. After all, this is the sprint program responsible for producing the fastest male and female sprinter college history.

On the men’s side, they went long instead, picking up distance swimmer Grant Schenk from Mount Carmel High School in San Diego and Pacific Swim. He’s the two-time defending Division II San Diego Sectional champion in the 500 free, and also won the 200 free title in 2012.

His best times are 1:38.82 in the 200 free and 4:24.99 in the 500 free: clearly his two best events on the NCAA Division I Championship schedule. The 9:11.6 in the 1000 and 15:29.1 in the 1650 indicate that he will likely add the mile as his third event for the Tigers.

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bobo gigi
9 years ago

Auburn would be a good place for a sprinter like Simone Manuel! 🙂
Brett Hawke knows how to train sprinters.

Reply to  bobo gigi
9 years ago

while I’m rooting for SM to go Stanford there is a lot Longhorn pride in Texas and they maybe a sleeper (Auburn would be great–less chance a national title anytime soon)

bobo gigi
Reply to  FREEBEE
9 years ago

I agree.
Stanford would be great in terms of training partners (Lia Neal, Lindsey Engel, Maddy Schaefer, Janet Hu) and is a big national title contender in the next years.
Auburn would be great because there’s a huge sprint tradition and because there’s Brett Hawke.
Texas would be great because it’s at home.
We’ll have the answer soon. 🙂

9 years ago

Auburn fastest female sprinter? We looking at 50 or 100? LJ baby 21:27!! Go Cats, BEARDOWN!!

Reply to  Braden Keith
9 years ago

Braden: any heads up on other top recruits and their choices?

9 years ago

First big commitment in a while. Kylie Stewart to UGA

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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