The Louisville Cardinals didn’t look very far for the biggest impact recruit in their men’s class of 2014 thus far. They’ve signed Thomas Cooper from Trinity High School and Triton Swimming.
As a freshman, Cooper was the Kentucky State Champion in the 50 free with a 20.83. As a sophomore in 2012, he won both the 50 free (20.66) and the 100 free (45.09), and in that sophomore year he also broke the State Record in the 100 free with a 44.71.
As a junior, he actually ended up dropping both of those events, and swam the 200 free where he was a 1:39.72, and won the 100 fly (50.00). He was a 1:38.9 at the regional level in that 200 free: his best time.
He didn’t end up going best times in either the 50 or the 100 as a junior, but that likely has as much to do with event selection as anything. If he goes back to them for his senior year, expect that he’ll shave both of those times down further before coming to Louisville.
The Cardinals had a great class last year, but they do graduate Joao de Lucca after this season, which means they will have a large relay gap to fill. With a lot more depth perhaps than in the past, they could still be a top-10 NCAA team for the foreseeable future.