Mitchell Ledford, #6 in 2023, Gives Verbal Nod to NC State

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Sebastian, Florida native Mitchell Ledford has announced his verbal commitment to North Carolina State University where he will swim and study in the class of 2027.

“I am so excited to announce my verbal commitment to further my swimming and academic career at NC State University! I want to thank God for giving me these opportunities and all the support from my family, coaches and friends. GO PACK! ♦♦”

Ledford, a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American and a junior at Sebastian River High School, ranks #6 on our Way Too Early List of top boys recruits from the high school class of 2023. He placed third in the 100 fly (48.73) and 12th in the 200 free (1:43.62) as a sophomore last season at the Florida High School Class 3A State Championships. A month later, he won the 100 fly (47.22) and 200 fly (1:47.09) and was runner-up in the 200 IM (1:51.43) at the 2020 18&U Winter Championships in Stuart.

Ledford trains year-round with Treasure Coast Swimming. He had an outstanding long course season, kicking things off with PBs in the 50 free (23.84), 200 free (1:52.16), and 200 IM (2:08.62) at the Summer Solstice Open. He then put up a B final-winning 100 fly time (53.58) at Olympic Trials Wave I that put him in the top-10 all-time in the U.S. for 15-16 boys. He also notched a PB of 51.99 in the 100 free in time trials. Ledford wrapped up the summer with a 53.08 in the 100 fly at Speedo Summer Championships-East, where he was runner-up, and now he owns the 6th-fastest time in history for 15-16 boys. He also finaled in the 200 fly (8th), 100 free (32nd), and 200 free (27th). He left the meet with PBs in the 100/200 fly (53.08/2:00.90).

Best SCY times:

  • 100 fly – 46.96
  • 200 fly – 1:46.32
  • 100 free – 45.37
  • 200 free – 1:40.54
  • 200 IM – 1:50.06

Ledford is the top 200 flyer in the class of 2023 and his 100 fly is very close to the top of the pack. His performances in LCM this summer make one think he has some breakout SCY times coming, especially in the 50/100/200 free. He will join the NC State class of 2027 with #10 Will Heck, the class’s best breaststroker (53.73/1:57.16).

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].

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Bruh
1 month ago

He looks like a fun guy

Breezeway
1 month ago

oh yeah, 🐺

Uh Oh Stinky
1 month ago

Pack going crazy‼️

ACC fan
1 month ago

PBG! Congratulations Mitchell.

Swim nerd
1 month ago

So many early commitments

Togger
1 month ago

Out of interest, seeing this kid’s a Scholastic All American, what’s the pitch for NC State going into recruit on the academic side? Swimming must be one of the sports with the most top 25 NCAAs finishers also having a top 25 US News ranking (Stanford, Cal, UVA, Michigan). NC State’s a great school academically but it’s not at that level, I’d be interested how they pitch the academic side given the competition.

Not-so-Silent Observer
Reply to  Togger
1 month ago

You are right, NC state is not the in the same stratosphere as those other schools in terms of all around liberal arts academia. But they do have some of the top engineering, architecture, & veterinarian colleges in the country.

Which can be a draw if you want to go into any of those fields & be joining a swim team ranked in the top 5 of the NCAA and has some of the best up and coming coaches.

NC Fam
Reply to  Not-so-Silent Observer
1 month ago

I agree with the other replies. I have two children that are Scholastic All-Americans and Olympic Trials swimmers. They could have chosen any school in the country and they both chose NC State. College is what you make of it. NC State has great, hard-working, down-to-earth people. It also offers excellent academics and excellent swimming. The weather is pretty awesome too (not too hot & not too cold). Congratulation to Mitchell and the Wolfpack!

CHE_Swimmer
Reply to  Togger
1 month ago

NC State is a land-grant university without law, music, pharmacy, medical, public health, dental schools (those are all at UNC decided by UNC System). It heavily focuses on agriculture and engineering.
If you want to use USNews ranking (even though most people know how questionable their methodology is), here are some latest NC State’s NATIONAL rankings (private+public univs) for their selected programs:

Undergraduate (graduate in parentheses):
Nuclear eng (#3)
Biological eng #6 (#7)
Software eng #9
Industrial eng #14 (#16)
Analytics #14
Materials eng #19
Chemical eng #20 (#21)
Civil/Env eng #20 (#22)
Aerospace eng (#25)
Computer eng #26 (#22)
Mechanical eng #28 (#37)
Electrical eng #29… Read more »

AJay
Reply to  CHE_Swimmer
1 month ago

Lol you forgot Cal with your Stanford/Michigan/Texas reference. cal has more #1 ranked programs than all three of those schools combined.

ThisGuy
Reply to  CHE_Swimmer
1 month ago

Just want to point out that all of those degrees are all going to be extremely valuable in the near and distant future.

Swimfan
Reply to  Togger
1 month ago

Nonsense. School is what you make of it except in few rare situations. Tons of extremely successful people don’t go to college much less these “elite” schools. Arguably the alumni network makes a difference but depending on what you want to study you can be successful wherever you go.

Huh
Reply to  Togger
1 month ago

“Ranking” really doesn’t matter for the quality of the education you get. How much effort you put into your education matters infinitely more.

Swimmer Steve
Reply to  Huh
1 month ago

I feel like I’m gonna get flamed for this, but this is such a worthless take. We’re discussing one kids decision between schools of obvious different academic caliber. If he puts in the same effort at NC State vs Stanford he would get more out of his education at Stanford. They have more resources, better teachers, and a more academic atmosphere.

Breezeway
Reply to  Swimmer Steve
1 month ago

As you should!

Huh
Reply to  Swimmer Steve
1 month ago

He really would not.

While we are at it, please define “better teachers” and “more academic atmosphere”. These are BS takes. At both schools, your teachers will have PhDs. “Better” is just purely subjective after objective credentials are the same. “Academic atmosphere” is what you make it. If you want to be a party boy at Stanford, then you will have a party boy atmosphere. If you have an academic focus, then your atmosphere will be academic. The advantage and lure of Stanford are the connections.

Swimmer Steve
Reply to  Huh
1 month ago

Professors at Stanford have their degrees and experience from more prestigious programs. Stanford has better funding and therefore attracts more talented professors who want to do more research and are on the cutting edge of their field. That’s not to say Stanford is better than NC State in every way, particularly from student to student. You’re really trying to make it sound like rankings are just out of the blue and we all know that’s not true.

NC Fan
Reply to  Swimmer Steve
1 month ago

Stanford is awesome and one of the very few schools having the undergrad degree from actually could make a ‘difference’ in opening doors because, otherwise, after the first job, most people don’t care. Maybe it violates the guidance of ‘pick the school you’d be happy at if you weren’t swimming’ but especially for top 20 recruits who are 16-17 years old, is it bad to pick a top 100-200 academic school where you think you have the best chance to grow as a swimmer and have fun and win meets and maybe make US National/Olympic teams. If you can’t dream big then and go for it at 16, when can you? Athletes at that level get a lot of doors… Read more »

So confused
Reply to  Swimmer Steve
1 month ago

Undeniably true. Having kids at multiple schools in question the caliber of professor at NCState is lacking in many key disciplines (go look at Reddit for reviews on professors in key engineer departments such as Physics, Calculus, Chemistry). Over 50% of the kids in the Engineering program take those key classes at nearby Wake tech or online at another UNC. Is NCstate a good school? Absolutely! Is NCstate the caliber of Michigan, Stanford or Cal? Nope.

Also take a look how their older roster shrinks year over year. They will cut you at State if they find someone better which makes me sad for the kids on the team. I don’t see that happening at some of the other… Read more »

ACC rising
Reply to  Togger
1 month ago

Nothing wrong with N.C. State academically at all, and being a scholastic all American doesn’t necessarily mean but so much. USA swimming gives that to anyone who has a 3.5 gpa and a winter juniors cut. More than 1000 kids last year.
Congratulations to Mitchell and to NCSU.

NC Swim Family
1 month ago

Congratulations Mitchell! Welcome to the Pack Family!

applesandoranges
1 month ago

It’s not our business why he chose one school over another. We should just wish him luck and hope he’s successful. Reading all of the pontificating about why Stanford is better is making my eyes bleed.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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