As far as I can tell, there is only one college swim team in Mississippi – which is Division II Delta State. On the rare occassion that states like Mississippi produce a Division I-caliber swimmer, that swimmer is sort of a wild-card. There isn’t much in the way of georgraphic ties to hold them to a particular in-state school.
Ty Stewart, who has committed to swim for Georgia in the fall, is one of the best swimmers to ever make his way through Mississippi high school swimming – at least in the best in the last decade. All-told, he’s got 28 individual Mississippi Age Group Records in long course meters, along with 7 overall LSC marks.
Stewart doesn’t swim with the high school association (though the times aren’t great, it’s fairly well administered). If he did, however, his best times would break every state record except for the 50 free and 100 breaststroke – and he’s not far off in either of those races. (Fun fact – Stewart is the only swimmer from the Mississippi LSC who has qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials).
Stewart stacks up just as well against the national field, though, and would be a force regardless of which state he was swimming in. He’s got a ton of versatility, with his best events being the IM’s. In those races, he goes 1:48.2 and 3:52.4, respectively, with his 200 IM ranking him in the top 5 in the class. His best stroke is the backstroke, where he goes 49.0 and 1:46.0 – both of which are also top-10 in the class. He would have, in fact, been the best 200 backstroker on the Georgia roster last year.
The Georgia men have really gone through a total overhaul this year. As we saw with last year’s graduating class of Bill Cregar and Mark Dylla, they’ve always gotten a good recruit or two in each class. This year, however, they’ve brought in the best class that we’ve seen from them in a long, long time, where they have a huge level of depth across many events.
Beyond Stewart, they’ve also signed Chase Kalisz, an incredible breaststroker and IM’er; Matias Koski, who can score at NCAA’s in any freestyle distance put in front of him; another huge breaststroker Zach Gunn; freestyler/butterflier Matt Ellis; an elite distance freestyler James Powell; and now the backstroker/butterflier/IM’er Stewart. That’s 6 ranked in the top 30 in the country
This class holds up against any in the country this year – even if you include USC’s transfers. There’s still a few big international recruits available, and a couple of top-50 domestics who haven’t decided, but with this latest signing, Georgia has pretty-well sealed the spot for the best class in the country this year.