It’s our week of NCAA retrospectives, looking back at recruit rankings through the lens of now-updated NCAA scoring data. We’ve focused in on the senior class (after four NCAA seasons) and the freshman class (after their first NCAA showings), and now it’s time to share all of our data for the four classes currently making up the NCAA field.
We’ll also include this year’s freshmen and seniors to have all the data in one post. You can find further analysis of those classes above.
The data included is only individual scoring at NCAAs. That’s not an exact measure of an athlete’s contribution to a program: many of these swimmers (and others not listed) were relay scorers at NCAAs, scored significant points at conference meets and provided great leadership and culture-building for their programs. This data isn’t a perfect analysis of the best recruits – it’s merely a quick look at the data we can compile.
Some of these athletes haven’t had as many scoring seasons as others in their class. Some redshirted a season and have more remaining seasons. Some deferred their enrollment as freshmen. Some sat out a year with a transfer. Some turned pro early. Some will turn pro early. Some are hard to pigeonhole into a specific class, international athletes especially. We did our best to group athletes where they best fit. Again, this isn’t a hard-and-fast ranking of value – it’s just the best data we can compile.
The ranks are from our recruit rankings, typically compiled when these athletes were high school juniors. We don’t include internationals in those rankings, as it’s difficult to figure out if and when internationals will join the NCAA and which class they should be grouped with before they appear in the NCAA. Do bear in mind that our rankings were done well over a year before any of these athletes appeared in NCAA competition, so if you do have a quibble with a specific rank, you may want to check how fast that athlete actually was when the ranking was done before you get too livid. Unranked recruits showing massive improvement curves are some of the best stories in the NCAA year-in and year-out, and one reason we rank recruits is so we can better see which athletes had great rises during their college careers.
All that said, compiling these ranks is a lot of data entry and a lot of research. If we missed anyone, or mis-classified anyone with the wrong class or with the wrong domestic/international tag, please let us know in the comments and we’ll update our data as soon as possible!
SENIORS (HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 2017, COLLEGE CLASS OF 2021)
In recruiting, this class was marked by intense debates over Reece Whitleyvs Drew Kiblerfor the #1 spot. Whitley outscored Kibler as a freshman, but Kibler won by a bigger margin as juniors. Still, neither is the top scorer, with #11 Kieran Smithputting up 75 in two seasons.
#3 Max McHughhas also been a bigger scorer than either of the top two.
Our entire top 13 have been high-impact swimmers. Medical issues have limited #9 Levant, and #7 Bybee was seeded to score in last year’s canceled meet.
Honorable mention Shaine Casashas been by far the biggest riser in the class, scoring 70 in two meets with 57 psych sheet points not included in 2020. There are very good odds he passes everyone to finish as the top scorer in the class.
SOPHOMORES (HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 2019, COLLEGE CLASS OF 2023)
We didn’t get to see this group compete at NCAAs as freshmen, but at the time of last year’s cancellation, unranked recruit Brooks Currywas seeded to be the highest scorer. He held that up this year, outscoring #4 Caspar Corbeau, #1 Brendan Burnsand #2 Jake Foster.
This is a pretty small international class, though Eric Frieseis among the top scorers.
On the flip side, it’s a great diving class, with two 25+ point scorers.
The raw numbers don’t look great on this class. But there were a lot of extenuating circumstances. #5 Dolan was a redshirt along with Arizona State’s entire roster. #10 Harder was a scratch for Texas to get under the roster cap, just like #9 Larson was last year. (Harder was actually seeded to score at NCAAs this year). #12 Louser didn’t compete for Cal – we’re reaching out to find out if he officially took a redshirt season or not. #17 Myhre was seeded to score at NCAAs but scratched with a positive COVID test.
FRESHMEN (HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 2020, COLLEGE CLASS OF 2024)
Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though.
Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …