Men’s Recruiting Class Ranks Revisited: Top 12 Schools For 2016-2019

Every summer, we rank down the top recruiting classes snagged by each team. But what do those rankings look like four years later, when each swimmer has had an opportunity to complete a full NCAA career of competing and scoring?

We’ve already looked back at our top 20 individual athletes in the high school graduating class of 2016, ranked when they were high school juniors in the summer of 2015. Now it’s time to look back at our team-by-team recruiting class rankings to see which teams got most from their recruiting hauls.

Back in July of 2015, we ranked out the top 12 recruiting classes nationwide. You can look back on our ranks here:

We’ve republished each of the 12 classes below, verbatim from how they were listed in our 2015 post. Then we tracked down some stats on each class, plus a short analysis of each class along with any extra swimmers who wound up being part of the class.

Bear in mind that international swimmers throw a wrinkle into this sort of analysis, given the difficulty in projecting ahead of time when an international recruit will join an NCAA program and officially start their eligibility.

Note: The ‘number of NCAA Scorers’ section refers only to individual scorers, and only among athletes included in our original recruiting class rankings. Late additions to the classes are noted when we can find them.

*Special 2020 note: with the 2020 NCAA Championships cancelled, any 2020 references below refer to psych sheet scoring, including the team finish, marked with an asterisk.

#12 Harvard Crimson

Top-tier additions: Daniel ChangDean Farris, Kevin Dai, Zachary Snyder, Ralph Marcoux
The rest: n/a

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 27th, 18th, 8th, *30th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 1

At the time of ranking this class, we noted the incredible improvement curve on Dean Farrisand boy did that turn out to be a harbinger of things to come. Farris still has one year of eligibility left, and Harvard would have been much higher than 30th if he had swum this year.

#11 Virginia Cavaliers

Top-tier additions: #20 Ted Schubert, Jared Norton, Joe Clark, John Whiteside, Kyle Ward, Ryan Baker
The rest: Bryce Shelton (diving), Henry Keel, Jason Quinn, Samson Miller (diving), Nick Switzer

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: N/A, 29th, 10th, *16th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 2

Ted Schubert had scored small amounts as a sophomore and junior, but was set to blow up with 28 psych sheet points this year. Joe Clark also scored in two seasons.

#10 Arizona State Sun Devils

Top-tier additions:Andrew Porter (transfer), Cameron Craig, Ben Olszewski, Zachary Poti, Joe Molinari
The rest: Nils Lervik, Sydney Kao, James Scott

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 14th, 20th, 21st, *7th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 2

Cameron Craig was a standout with 14 freshman points, but faded down to scoring nothing as a junior and then transferring out to Ohio State where he didn’t compete this postseason. Zachary Poti had an opposite trajectory, going from zero freshman points to 17 junior points and projected to 30 as a senior.

#9 Tennessee Volunteers

Top-tier additions: #13 Taylor Abbott, Braga Verhage, Gleb Ionichev, Matthew Garcia, Alec Connolly
The rest: Jared Clance, Timothy Raab

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 20th, 11th, 11th, *20th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 1

The distance star Abbott never really panned out in the NCAA, though he was seeded to score his first two points as a senior. Matthew Garciathough, managed to score one as a junior.

#8 Georgia Bulldogs

Top-tier additions:Javier Acevedo, Clayton Forde, Walker Higgins
The rest: n/a

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 8th, 10th, 18th, *17th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 2

A small class, but a solid one for Georgia. Javier Acevedo led with 45 points in three seasons, and he redshirted this season and could return down the road to add to that total. Walker Higgins scored 27 points across two scoring seasons. Forde hadn’t scored yet, but projected to score as a senior.

#7 USC Trojans

Top-tier additions: #6 Mark Jurek, Nikolai Syssoev, Thomas Reed, Mario Koenigsperger
The rest: n/a

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 6th, 6th, 20th, *30th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 1

Mario Koenigsperger scored 4 as a junior, and could still return after redshirting this year. Jurek ultimately went without an NCAA invite and never bettered his high school best times in butterfly or freestyle.

#6 UNC Tar Heels

Top-tier additions: #8 Greg Brocato, Brendan Feehery, Ryan Torie, Graham Weaver, Craig Emslie (transfer – Indian River), Jorden Merrilees (transfer – Oakland University)
The rest: Andrew Heise, Hans Schroeder

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 36th, 36th, 44th, *40th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 0

Top-tier recruit Brocato also went without an NCAA invite and didn’t see his sprint free times improve in college, though his fly did get faster. The transfers Merrilees and Emslie also didn’t yield points for the Tar Heels, who struggled over this four-year period.

#5 NC State Wolfpack

Top-tier additions:Zack Warner (transfer – Auburn), Daniel Erlenmeyer, Tyler Rice, Coleman Stewart, Andreas Vazaios, Mark McGlaughlin
The rest:Jack McIntyre, Lucca Martins

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 4th, 4th, 4th, *8th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 2

Vazaios joined with this group, but we actually classified him with the 2015 group we reviewed last year. The big scorer was Coleman Stewartwho blew up and scored 86 points over three years for the #3 rank in the entire class. Jack McIntyre also scored six points last year.

#4 Florida Gators

Top-tier additions:#1 Maxime Rooney, Taylor Delk, Nazareno Boscaino, Viktor Toth, Chandler Bray, Drew Clark
The rest: Alex Farrow (diving), Dylan Power (diving), Tyler Silver, Dakota Mahaffey, Marco Guarente

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 3rd, 5th, 6th, *3rd*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 1 (plus international Khader Baqlah)

Top recruit Maxime Rooney had a bit of a slow start, scoring 13 as a freshman but missing scoring as a sophomore. His junior year bounced back some (15 points) before he transferred out to Texas. Rooney was in line to be a massive senior scorer, though it wouldn’t have counted for Florida. International Khader Baqlah scored 26 over two years, and Guarente was projected to score his first points this year as a senior.

#3 Stanford Cardinal

Top-tier additions: #3 Grant Shoults, #4 True Sweetser, #18 Benjamin Ho, #19 James Murphy, William Macmillan, Hank Poppe, Alwyn Tan, Cameron Thatcher (diving)
The rest: n/a

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 5th, 7th, 15th, *27th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 3

This class wound up being pretty solid, but not the dominant group it looked like coming out of high school. Both Grant Shoults and True Sweetser missed a season, and could make them up next year. Sweetser scored in all three seasons before redshirting this year. Shoults scored 44 between his freshman and sophomore years, then missed his junior year with injury. Hank Poppe also scored individually as a junior. Ranked recruits Ho and Murphy both failed to score individually, though they did compete at NCAAs.

#2 Michigan Wolverines

Top-tier additions:#9 James Jones, #12 Jeremy Babinet, #14 Charlie Swanson, #15 Thomas Cope, Felix Auboeck, Alexander Martin, Jacob Montague
The rest:Miles Smachlo, Rob Zofchak

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 17th, 8th, 13th, *5th*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 6

This turned out to be an incredible class for the Wolverines, with 6 of their 9 listed recruits scoring at NCAAs, and most of them in the double digits. Felix Auboeck put up a whopping 95 over three years and was in contention to be the #1 scorer in the class with 37 psych sheet points this year. Tommy Cope and Charlie Swanson combined for one of the top IM/breaststroke attacks in the nation for four years, scoring as sophomores and juniors. Miles Smachlo tore it up as a junior with 16 of his 17 career points. Jacob Montague scored in his first two years. Jeremy Babinet also scored as a sophomore. Ironically, it was the team’s top-ranked recruit, the sprinter Jones, who never scored individually.

#1 Cal Golden Bears

Top-tier additions:  Matthew Josa (transfer – Queens), #2 Michael Jensen, #5 Jack Xie, #10 Andrea Vergani, #11 Ethan Young, #17 Albert Gwo, Andy Song An, Pawel Sendyk, ‘Aukai Lileikis, Karl Arvidsson, Shane Forker

  • NCAA finishes over 3* years: 2nd, 2nd, 1st, *2nd*
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 4

Internationals really carried this class. Zheng Quah put up 19 or more in each of his three seasons and ranked #4 in the class in individual scoring. Pawel Sendyk scored 63 in total and ranked #5. Both were set for big scoring efforts this year. Michael Jensen scored individually as a freshman and junior, and was a key relay contributor, too. The transfer Matt Josa took two DQs at NCAAs in 2017 to miss scoring individually, but returned for a nice haul as a senior. Young made NCAAs this year, though he didn’t project to score. Gwo transferred out to Columbia, where he made NCAAs this year. Xie never earned an invite, and Vergani never competed in the NCAA.



Certainly individual points don’t encapsulate everything a recruiting class brings to a program over four years. But they are the easiest way to rank the classes against each other four years later. Here’s a look at all the classes represented, ranked by individual points from all swimmers in this graduating class:

Rank Team
Points Over Three Seasons
1 Michigan 176.5
2 Cal 152
3 Harvard 101
4 NC State 92
5 Stanford 82
6 Georgia 72
7 Florida 55
8 Arizona State 37
9 Indiana 36.5
10 Hawaii 17
10 Texas A&M 17
12 Alabama 15
13 Ohio State 14
14 Virginia 13
15 Louisville 8
16 Wisconsin 7
17 South Carolina 6.5
18 Auburn 6
19 Arizona 4
19 USC 4
21 Tennessee 1

#1 Michigan

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
3 INTL Felix Auboeck Michigan 95
11 15 Thomas Cope Michigan 29
17 14 Charlie Swanson Michigan 22
21 UNR Miles Smachlo Michigan 17
26 UNR Jacob Montague Michigan 11
43 12 Jeremy Babinet Michigan 2.5

#2 Cal

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
5 INTL Zheng Quah Cal 79 31
7 INTL Pawel Sendyk Cal 63 18
25 2 Michael Jensen Cal 10

#3 Harvard

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
1 UNR Dean Farris Harvard 101

#4 NC State

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
4 UNR Coleman Stewart NC State 86 51
30 UNR Jack McIntyre NC State 6

#5 Stanford

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
8 3 Grant Shoults Stanford 44 5
11 4 True Sweetser Stanford 29 redshirt
26 UNR Hank Poppe Stanford 9

#6 Georgia

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
7 INTL Javier Acevedo Georgia 45 redshirt
14 UNR Walker Higgins Georgia 27 3
43 UNR Clayton Forde Georgia 0 3

#7 Florida

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
12 1 Maxime Rooney Florida/Texas 28 31.5
15 INTL Khader Baqlah Florida 26 14
44 UNR Marco Guarente Florida 0 5
41 UNR Grant Sanders Arizona/Florida 1 20

#8 Arizona State

Final Rank 2015 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
16 UNR Zachary Poti Arizona State 19 30
18 UNR Cameron Craig Arizona State/Ohio State 18

#9 Indiana

Final Rank 2015 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
8 INTL Mohamed Samy Indiana 36.5 17

#10 Texas A&M

Final Rank 2015 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
17 UNR Benjamin Walker Texas A&M 17 13.33
42 UNR Adam Koster Texas A&M 0 11

#10 Hawaii

Final Rank 2015 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
21 INTL Kane Follows Hawaii 12
33 INTL Olli Kokko Hawaii 5 9

#12 Alabama

Final Rank 2015 Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points
2020 Psych Sheet Points
19 INTL Zane Waddell Alabama 15 43.5

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3 years ago

UNC #6


3 years ago

Another group worth mentioning after scanning the seniors in the NCAA psych sheet

Kentucky- had 5 individual qualifiers this year in the senior class.
Amdor, Wyatt
Blandford, Connor
Brown, Glen
Mitchell, John
Wetzlar, Peter

Tied Cal with most seniors qualified.

GA Boy
Reply to  Swimnerd
3 years ago

Any projected points?

Reply to  GA Boy
3 years ago

Eh would have probably been similar to last year for them with diving and 400/800 freestyle relay points.

Maybe a few could have snuck into a B final but again as far as senior classes go, probably one of the better developed classes overall.

Obviously the schools above such as Michigan and Mike Bottom were lights out.

The big name kids will continue to populate those 12 schools above but I’d love to continue to see schools like Kentucky, FSU, Missouri, and Notre Dame get recognized as places where those kids that would potentially be walk ons somewhere else become a key focus and point scorer for those schools.

B1G Daddy
3 years ago

Mike Bottom doesn’t get near the credit he deserves.

Jonathan Charbroiled Steak
3 years ago

I love how dean Farris alone makes Harvard the number 3 ranked class.

Reply to  Jonathan Charbroiled Steak
3 years ago

That is the true power of the Dean. Blessed are we to be in his presence

Reply to  Jonathan Charbroiled Steak
3 years ago

Overzealous swim mother: “Yeah, his swimming just exploded after sophomore year and now he’s really looking closely at swimming at one of the top tier swimming colleges, like Stanford, Michigan, NC State, or Dean.”

3 years ago

Vols not exactly stellar – Although they seem to survive on diving.

3 years ago

If diving were included in this, Texas would’ve been pretty high up in the re-ranks with how Grayson Campbell and Jacob Cornish performed. But on the swimming side, the Texas seniors are not a typical Texas class, especially when you account for the fact that Rooney & Collins transferred in and were not a part of the initial group

Reply to  JCO
3 years ago

JCO’s analysis is correct. Of this year’s Texas seniors, none of the swimmers raced at NCAAs last year, except:

Maxime Rooney (for Florida)
Ryan Harty (who redshirted the 2016-2017 season, and so was in the prior class)

Jack Collins, who qualified for NCAAs last year but was a casualty of Texas having too many swimmers, started at Indiana, and was also in the HS class of 2015 (he redshirted the 2017-2018 season).

Sometimes, it can be hard to separate the myth of Texas from the reality of Texas. Top-class program, but not infallible.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

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 …

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