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 2015, ranked when they were high school juniors in the summer of 2014. 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/August 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.


Top-tier Additions: Luke Papendick (transfer from Virginia), Kyle Dudzinski (transfer from Virginia), Javi BarrenaMokhtar Al-Yamani,
The rest:
 Jordan Ross,  Stephen Holmquist

  • NCAA finishes over 4 years: #12, #17, #8, #13
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 0/6

This class was mostly predicated on two senior transfers, neither of whom wound up scoring at NCAAs. Al-Yamani was a relay scorer at NCAAs a few times.


Top-tier Additions: Michael MessnerJames TiddHunter DoerrBowen BeckerBrian Poon
The rest: Nick PlachinskiCalvin Greve

  • NCAA finishes over 4 years: #20, #23, #15, #19
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 1/7

Tidd, Doerr and Becker were framed as a trio of sprinters to build around – Becker certainly over-achieved, becoming one of the best sprinters in the nation by his final few years. He scored 51 points all by himself, not to mention his big relay impact. None of the others scored, but 4 of the 7 were still on the roster as seniors.


Top-tier Additions: Ty PowersKyle DecourseyMichael ReilmanEthan BrowneAlec Lezcano
The rest: Sam RiceMatthew DunphyHayden Burns

  • NCAA finishes over 4 years: #7, #20, #11, #11
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 1/8 (plus diver Colin Zeng)

Decoursey only scored two points individually, but he had a much bigger relay impact than that. Zeng joined the program late and was a redshirt senior this year, but he was a massive NCAA diving scorer. Reilman was an NCAA relay scorer. Powers was a big name out of high school, and did make pretty solid SEC contributions. Browne was an NCAA qualifier as a freshman, but dropped off the roster after that.


Top-tier Additions: #12 Tabahn AfrikBen GorskiMatt GrauslysDaniel Speers
The rest: Zachary Stump, Steven ShekConnor BrownJack Russell, David Stewart, Maciej Olszewski

  • NCAA finishes over 4 years: N/A, #25, #23, #36
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 0/10

Afrik was a relay scorer at NCAAs, though no Notre Dame relays made the meet during his senior year. So was Speers, though he didn’t remain on the roster for his senior year. The rest of the class didn’t do much, and six of the ten no longer appear on the Fighting Irish roster.


Top-tier Additions: #16 Brennan BaloghBayley MainRoss PalazzoAlex Katz (transfer from Michigan), Jan Switkowski (transfer from Virginia Tech), Alex Lebed, Samuel Smith (diving)
The rest: Grady Heath, Jack Szaranek, Stanley Wu

  • NCAA finishes over 4 years: #3, #3, #5, #6
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 1/9 (counting Switkowski)

Switkowski was a great pickup – he wound up part of a Florida senior class a year ago that led the nation in scoring. He chipped in 118 himself. The rest of the class didn’t do as much. Katz never appeared on the roster. Ranked recruits Palazzo and Balogh combined for zero NCAA points, though they had four invites between them and were productive SEC swimmers. Main scored on a couple of NCAA relays. Lebed also got an individual NCAA invite.


Top-tier Additions: Danny TranBrennan Novak, Sebastian Lutz, Gavin SpringerLogan HouckGrant GoddardJustin Wu
The rest:

  • NCAA finishes over 4 years: #44, #27, #18, #8
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 2/7

Novak and Houck both scored individually, Houck as a junior and Novak as a junior and senior. This class saw Harvard rise all the way from 44th to 8th at NCAAs. Goddard was on a scoring relay this year.


Top-tier Additions: Blair BishChad IdensohnChatham DobbsMathias OhMarcello Quarante, Parks Jones, Matt Salerno, Grant Sanders
The rest: Matt Lujan, Keith Brazzell

  • NCAA finishes over 4 years: #16, #24, #16 #16
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 3/10

This class had three scorers… but unfortunately only one of the three was scoring for Arizona by the end. Dobbs scored all four years for the Wildcats, spanning two coaching staffs. Bish scored in his first two years before transferring out to Missouri State and scoring there as a senior. Sanders never scored for Arizona, but just put together a scoring swim after transferring to Florida. Attrition hit this class hard; six of the ten are no longer on the Wildcat roster.


Top-tier Additions: Christian SelbyLiam McCloskeyTommy BrewerZiv KalontarovZach Apple
The rest: Bryan Lee, Christopher Simmons, Grady Ottomeyer, Russell Noletto, Sam Stewart

  • NCAA finishes over 4 years: #10, #12, #12, #40
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 3/10

Another class with some attrition among scorers. Brewer scored individually and finished his career with Auburn. Apple was a huge scorer, putting up 61 points for Auburn before transferring out as a senior and scoring 47 more for Indiana. Stewart scored his only 5 NCAA points with Auburn – he transferred to Texas but never scored there individually. McCloskey was a relay scorer at NCAAs, as was Kalontarov, though the latter didn’t finish out his career with Auburn.


Top-tier Additions: #7 Cole Cogswell, #11 Ryan Dudzinski, #17 Brad ZdroikMatt AndersonAbrahm DevineJack Walsh
The rest: n/a

  • NCAA finishes over 4 years: #14, #5, #7, #15
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 2/6

Devine wound up as the big scorer in this class, winning two NCAA titles individually and scoring 199.5 points. Dudzinski also scored individually in two seasons. Cogswell, Anderson and Zdroik all scored as relay members, though the highly-touted Cogswell never made NCAAs individually. This was a very stable class, as all six men finished out their careers on the roster this season.


Top-tier Additions: #4 Carsten Vissering, #6 Patrick Mulcare, #10 Alex Valente
The rest: Cash DeLoache, Daniel Mizrahi, Kyle Grissom, Tim Wynter, Walker Bell

  • NCAA finishes over 4 years: #13, #6, #6, #20
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 2/8

Vissering and Mulcare were both excellent scorers, putting up double digits in three of their four seasons individually. Grissom was a regular relay contributor over his four years and scored NCAA points that way. Valente never wound up scoring nationally. Five of the eight were on the roster as seniors.


Top-tier Additions: #1 Andrew Seliskar, #3 Michael ThomasCarson Sand, #18 Nick Norman
The rest: David Puczkowski, Ken Takahashi

  • NCAA finishes over 4 years: #2, #2, #2, #1
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 4/6

This class very much lived up to the hype. The four top additions ended up combining for 300 individual points. Seliskar was the best swimmer in the nation in his senior season. Both Thomas and Norman needed a year or two to break into NCAA scoring, but made up for it after that with double-digit outputs. Sand also scored in each of his final two seasons. Takahashi was an individual invitee one season. All six of these men remained on the roster through their senior seasons.


Top-tier Additions: #2 Townley Haas, #9 Ryan Harty, #20 Tate JacksonJohn ShebatJeff Newkirk
The rest: Mason Tenney, Casey Melzer, Max Holter

  • NCAA finishes over 4 years: #1, #1, #1, #2
  • Number of NCAA scorers in class: 6/8

A very worthy group of the #1 overall ranking. Haas was the highest-scoring swimmer in the class with 198 individual points. Shebat had a huge college explosion to score 131. Harty, Newkirk and Jackson all scored double-digits over their careers, and Harty still has a year left after redshirting one. Holter added a point in his senior season. The only one who didn’t remain on the roster through their senior year was Melzer, who competed through his junior year.


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:

1 Texas 433
2 Cal 300
3 Indiana 278
4 NC State 187.5
5 Stanford 121.5
6 USC 98
7 Auburn 68
8 Louisville 67.5
9 Alabama 62.5
10 Virginia 56
11 Minnesota 51
12 South Carolina 47.5
13 Missouri 44
14 Arizona 34.5
15 Towson 26
16 Grand Canyon 23
17 Georgia 22
18 Penn 19
19 Harvard 17
20 Florida State 14
21 Oakland 13
22 Hawaii 8
23 Missouri State 7
24 Texas A&M 4
25 West Virginia 2.5
26 Tennessee 2
27 Georgia Tech 1

And our new top 12, purely in terms of individual NCAA points:

The far left column tracks each swimmer’s final rank within the class. The next column tracks their individual ranking in our top 20 recruits post. HM means “honorable mention.” UNR means “unranked” and INTL means “international”, as we don’t rank international swimmers in our top 20 post.

In the case of transfers, we’ve only awarded points to the school that the athlete earned while at that school – so a swimmer who transferred after two years will have their first two year’s worth of point totals count for their original school and their next two years for their second school.

#1 Texas

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team
Total NCAA Points
1 2 Townley Haas Texas 198
3 UNR John Shebat Texas 131
14 9 Ryan Harty Texas 51
20 UNR Jeff Newkirk Texas 27
22 20 Tate Jackson Texas 25
51 UNR Max Holter Texas 1

#2 Cal

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team
Total NCAA Points
2 1 Andrew Seliskar Cal 192
9 3 Mike Thomas Cal 68
19 18 Nick Norman Cal 32
36 UNR Carson Sand Cal 8

#3 Indiana

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team
Total NCAA Points
3 INTL Vini Lanza Indiana 131
7 UNR Ian Finnerty Indiana 100
6 UNR Zach Apple Indiana 47

#4 NC State

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team
Total NCAA Points
8 INTL Andreas Vazaios NC State 131
10 UNR Justin Ress NC State 52.5
45 UNR Noah Hensley NC State 3
51 UNR James Bretscher NC State 1

#5 Stanford

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team
Total NCAA Points
5 UNR Abrahm Devine Stanford 119.5
48 11 Ryan Dudzinski Stanford 2

#6 USC

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team
Total NCAA Points
12 4 Carsten Vissering USC 50
14 6 Patrick Mulcare USC 48

#7 Auburn

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team
Total NCAA Points
6 UNR Zach Apple Auburn 61
38 UNR Sam Stewart Auburn 5
48 8 Thomas Brewer Auburn 2

#8 Louisville

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team
Total NCAA Points
17 INTL Marcelo Acosta Louisville 43
24 UNR Zach Harting Louisville 24.5

#9 Alabama

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team
Total NCAA Points
13 UNR Robert Howard Alabama 49
32 INTL Laurent Bams Alabama 13.5

#10 Virginia

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team
Total NCAA Points
18 UNR Brendan Casey Virginia 33
28 UNR Zach Fong Virginia 19
40 UNR Bryce Keblish Virginia 4

#11 Minnesota

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team
Total NCAA Points
11 UNR Bowen Becker Minnesota 51

#12 South Carolina

Final Rank 2014 Rank Name College Team
Total NCAA Points
16 INTL Fynn Minuth South Carolina 43.5
40 14 Cody Bekemeyer South Carolina 4


More recruiting rank analysis:



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Foreign Embassy
5 years ago

Wow – never thought I would see a day when Auburn and Arizona weren’t top 5. In the 90s it was a whole different story. Even seeing Stanford not being near the top is crazy. But now we have NC State, Louisville and Indiana. Everything is cyclical, I realize. I just wonder when Wisconsin, ASU and SMU will be back in top 25.

Justin Wright
Reply to  Foreign Embassy
5 years ago

Give it a couple more years and all will be well again 🤙🏼

5 years ago

Wow 2 whole points for the MEN Vols of Tennessee! That equals the number of swimming points they are returning from the underclassmen. The future looks the bleakest in over the 50 years of the program’s history. Sad.

5 years ago

Are we stopping at 20 for the swimmer rankings.

Swim fan
5 years ago

It’s unfortunate how ND fared with a top 12 recruiting class. 0 senior NCAA scorers with less than half the class still on the team? Maybe it’s time to look at the HC

Reply to  Swim fan
5 years ago

That’s the vibe

Reply to  Swim fan
5 years ago

Didn’t that already occur? Wasn’t the referenced class recruited by Matt Tallman? Tallman departed under a cloud. Notre Dame then combined their programs under Mike Litzinger. The coaching change and the resulting change in culture and expectations may have played a part in retention of the class over their four years.

The Wolf of Raleigh
5 years ago

How about those apples!

Once again NC State proving once again they are the best program for developing swimmers!

Did not have a top 12 recruiting class yet they consistently finish among the best of the best!

Just imagine in a few years when they start getting gifted absurd talent like Cal and Texas!

Are change is coming.


Reply to  The Wolf of Raleigh
5 years ago

Texas and IU both had more points from unranked US recruits than NC State

Reply to  Anakin
5 years ago

Was just about to say this 😂

Reply to  Anakin
5 years ago

According to CollegeSwimming Max Holter #21, Shebat was ranked #32, and Newkirk was ranked #222. As far as NC State goes Ress was ranked #157, Hensley #532 and Bretscher #257. Interestingly Coleman Stewart was ranked #117 coming out of high school. I think there is a huge difference here and yes NC State does a great job of developing swimmers especially when they don’t get top notch recruits.

Reply to  The Wolf of Raleigh
5 years ago

The majority of their points came from a much older foreign swimmer who was already really good before nc state

JP input is too short
Reply to  The Wolf of Raleigh
5 years ago

Hensley was a transfer and Vazaios a midseason acquisition, so really the class as it was ranked only scored Ress and Bretscher. Which would have put them… right in front of Minnesota.

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
Reply to  The Wolf of Raleigh
5 years ago

Sometimes I wonder whether you’re a troll or whether you actually went to NC State, and then I read a sentence as eloquent as “Are change is coming.” and I know the answer.

Reply to  The Wolf of Raleigh
5 years ago

I would say Louisville is at least NC State’s equal in developing swimmers.

Reply to  Meeeeee
5 years ago


5 years ago

Woah never knew Tate Jackson had originally committed to Notre Dame

JP input is too short
Reply to  Swimdude
5 years ago

Yeah, that would have been a nice sprint group there with Afrik, Speers, and Jackson.

5 years ago

wow, that was a bad class for Michigan. Too much focus on the women’s team who has done very well?

Reply to  Meeeeee
5 years ago

I don’t think that’s fair. They had very very good classes sandwiching this one and there is only so much money to go around. White, Sanders, Powers, Ransford in 2018 plus Swanson, Auboeck, Smachlo, Cope in 2020 more than makes up for this dud of a class

Reply to  Meeeeee
5 years ago

Agree with Anakin. Plus their programs are pretty much separate. I don’t think the guys or coaches say “we don’t have to perform because the women had a heck of a meet”

Reply to  Superfan
5 years ago

Who said they said that? I’m around UM quite a bit. They aren’t “pretty much separate”. Anyways, just an observation.

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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