- Women’s classes #9-12
- Women’s classes #5-8
- Women’s classes #1-4
- Men’s classes #9-12
- Men’s classes #1-4
- Individual recruit rankings – Girls final rankings (June 2019)
- Individual recruit rankings – Boys final rankings (June 2019)
We’re continuing our rankings of the top recruiting classes in the men’s NCAA – these swimmers will be starting their freshman seasons in the next month.
Here are a few important notes on our rankings:
- The ranking numbers listed for individual recruits are from our Class of 2019 Re-Rank, which was done this past spring. Certainly some of those ranks would change after this summer’s season.
- Like most of our rankings, these placements are subjective. Rankings are based on a number of factors, including prospect’s incoming times, team needs filled, prospect’s potential upside, class size, and potential relay impact. Greater weight is placed on known success in short course yards, so foreign swimmers are slightly devalued because of their inexperience in SCY.
- Transfers are included, and there are lots of big ones.
- For the full list of the 1200+ committed athletes, click here. A big thank-you to SwimSwam’s own Anne Lepesant for compiling that index – without it, rankings like these would be far less comprehensive.
Here are the classes ranked 8th through 5th:
#8: USC Trojans
Top-tier additions: #19 Max Saunders (CA – free), Santi Corredor (Florida transfer -IM/free), Truls Wigdel (Norway – free), Jack Kirby (Barbados/TN – back/free)
The rest: David Mertz (CA – distance), Dominic Margarino (CA – distance), Ivan Puskovitch (PA – distance), Jan Collazo (FL – sprint free), Paul Retterer (NJ – back), Ryan Peterson (CO – sprint free), Trent Martinez (OR – free)
The Trojans went all-in on freestyle with their top recruits, and if that group can mesh with last year’s blue chipper Alexei Sancov (who was a little disappointing as a freshman), the USC relays could reload in a hurry.
In-state prospect Max Saunders (20.3/43.5/1:35.0) is a great get and a very fast riser in the 200 in particular. He should have enormous relay value. The 4×200 relay could get a massive boost between Saunders and Norway’s Truls Wigdel, who projects to be a 200 free monster. Wigdel is 1:48.8 in long course meters and comes down to 50.9 in the 100-meter free. He could be a 1:34/44-type, based on some rough conversions to short course yards. Pair those two with Sancov (1:32 out of high school) and you’ve got the core of a young, talented 800 free relay.
Colombian national Santi Corredor is part of a mass exodus out of the University of Florida, and he shows up at USC with two years of eligibility remaining. He was a 3:44.5 400 IMer for the Gators, and projects as an NCAA invitee with just a marginal improvement there. He’s also 4:18 in the 500 free and 1:45 in the 200 backstroke.
One more semi-international is Jack Kirby, a Barbados record-holder who has been based out of Tennessee in the United States. Kirby has plenty of short course yards experience (47.8/1:45.3 backstrokes, 20.8/44.4 freestyles) and might step in as the go-to backstroker on medley relays now that Patrick Mulcare is graduated.
The rest of the class is still very freestyle-centric. David Mertz, Dominic Margarino and Ivan Puskovitch are all pretty good distance prospects, though developmental. Jan Collazo and Ryan Peterson are solid three-distance sprint freestylers in the relay distances.
Fast riser to watch: Saunders, who cut from 1:40 to 1:35.0 in his 200 free as a high school senior.
#7: Arizona State Sun Devils
Top-tier additions: #5 Jack Dolan (MO – free/fly/back), Julian Hill (FL – free), Scott Lyons (NC – breast), Alex Colson (MD – fly/IM)
The rest: Andrew Gray (MN – free/fly), Bobby Pearce (TX – back), Noah Scheuerman (MO – fly/IM)
#5 Jack Dolan is really a next-level prospect, and has a lot to do with this class’s rank. He’s got near NCAA invite times in the 200 free (1:34.78) and 50 free (19.62), with a solid 100 (43.56) in the middle. That’s not even mentioning a 46.8 butterfly or 47.0/1:42.9 backstroke speed. Arizona State tends to love these tough 200 guys (1:34 Cody Bybee in last year’s class, 1:34.5 Grant House the year before that, now-transferred Cameron Craig the year prior), and Dolan can probably be expected to key in on the 200 free and maybe branch out to the backstrokes or 100 fly/free from there.
Julian Hill out of Florida adds another good 200 free (1:35.1) along with solid 100/500 support (44.5/4:18.8), and he fits the ASU mold well in that mid-distance range. The other really good pickup is Alex Colson, who has had massive improvements down to 47.3/1:45.4 in the butterflys.
Scott Lyons is a good breaststroke pickup (54.8/2:00.6), and Andrew Gray is solid 200 free depth (1:37.6) in a program that’s done very well with 200-guys. This class might have contended for top-5 status had it included Jarod Arroyo. The Puerto Rican national had verbally committed to this class, but will defer his enrollment until after the 2020 Olympics. Arroyo was a 3:49 IMer who is probably better (4:18) in long course meters.
Fast riser to watch: Colson was 1:46.7/49 in the butterfly races a year ago. Now, he’s 1:45.4/47.3, and looks like much more of a relay weapon with that speed improvement. He’s also taken about a second off of both his 50 and 100 frees and about two off his 200 free, though all of those still need improvements to make NCAA contributions.
#6: Indiana Hoosiers
Top-tier additions: #1 Brendan Burns (PA – back/fly/free), Harry Flanders (CA – fly), Jake Marcum (TN – back), Kai Bathurst (CA – free), Will Gallant (CT – distance)
The rest: Jacob Destrampe (IN – free), Max Scott (OH – sprint free)
The Hoosiers pull in top-ranked recruit Brendan Burns, who is a true do-everything star. 46-low in both the 100 back and 100 fly, Burns is a godsend for a team that has ruled medley relays lately, but graduated some key legs after last season. Burns can probably take over the fly legs of the medleys, and should also be an 800 free relay factor as a 1:34.1 out of high school.
Indiana has also generally had success in the IMs, and Burns could be a prime candidate there. He’s 1:44.8 out of high school, and could have one of the best front halves in all of college swimming. The Hoosiers lost a lot of key components from last year, but Burns should be a plug-and-play contributor as a freshman, which is rare on the men’s side.
Fly and back are the themes of this class. Harry Flanders (47.4/1:46.7) is a good flyer and also a pretty solid IMer. Jake Marcum (1:42.8/48.2) is a very good backstroker, though he’s much more pigeonholed to the 200 at this point. That freshman trio will give IU a lot of stroke options, and could make up the core of the medley relays down the road.
Speaking of relays, Jacob Destrampe (20.4/44.2/1:37.1) is relay depth in waiting, along with Max Scott (20.4/45.6), though Scott is much more of a drop-dead sprinter variety for now. At the other end of the spectrum is Kai Bathurst, a California prospect who goes 1:36.0 in the 200 free and maybe projects best in the 100/200/500 range.
Will Gallant (15:16 in the mile) adds a distance component to a pretty well-rounded class, though it’s a little surprising to see IU not rolling the dice on a breaststroker, considering the rousing success they’ve had in that stroke recently.
Fast riser to watch: Marcum is a very exciting backstroke prospect. He was 1:46.0 in the 200 back as a junior, and dropped 3.2 seconds over his senior year. Add in a 1.5-second drop in the 100 and his future looks pretty bright, especially if he can develop a good third event.
#5: Georgia Bulldogs
Top-tier additions: #18 Dillon Downing (GA – sprint free), HM Zach Hils (KY – IM/back), Ian Grum (GA – distance/back), Harry Homans (RI – fly/back), Thomas Strother (KY – breast)
The rest: Charlie Logan (GA – free/back), Riley Scruggs (GA – sprint free/breast)
Coach Jack Bauerle‘s pickup of Dillon Downing is especially significant for two reasons: first, he’s arguably the top in-state prospect, and second, he fills an absolutely dire UGA need for a star sprinter.
The Bulldogs have been hurting for a true sprinter for years. While their IMers and stroke specialists have been outstanding, their thin sprint group has consistently kept the relays from accessing the NCAA’s biggest point stockpile. One swimmer can’t fix that all by himself, but Downing is about the best start the Bulldogs could get. 19.68 and 43.63 out of high school, Downing is one of the best two or three pure sprinters in the nation for his class. And he’s shown remarkable improvements, especially to his endurance: Downing went from 1:53 to 1:38 in the 200 free over his senior year, and 45.8 to 43.6 in the 100.
That’s a massive get for Georgia, which also has one of the better backstrokers in the nation in rising senior Javier Acevedo (though he’s redshirting this season) and one of the best butterflyers in rising junior Camden Murphy (not to mention a blue-chip flyer by the name of Urlando coming in next year). Watch out for these relays, the medleys in particular, to rise big-time, though maybe not until next season.
The rest of the class is more classic Georgia. Kentucky’s Zach Hils is a great fit for Georgia’s IM factory, a 1:46.0 IMer out of high school with 47.6 back speed and a 1:44 in the 200 back. His 200 free (1:36.1) might make him a relay threat there, too. Ian Grum is another in-state prospect, a 15:09 miler, 3:49 IMer and 1:42 200 backstroker who should be an ideal fit in Athens. He’s also a great long course swimmer, and Georgia has been very good at coaching those types of athletes.
Riley Scruggs (20.4 free) and Charlie Logan (1:39 free) are two more developmental prospects whom Georgia kept in-state. Rhode Island’s Harry Homans (47.6/1:45.9 fly) should bolster what’s becoming an outstanding butterfly group. With top breaststroker James Guest graduating, Thomas Strother (54.7/2:01.9) is a timely pickup.
Fast riser to watch: Downing, whose progression we mentioned above. What went unsaid there, though, was his 0.6 second drop in the 50 free. Per USA Swimming’s database, it appears Downing took an extended break from swimming between 2013 and 2016, and has just now started to find his footing (and his endurance) in the sport. He has a chance to one of the most impactful swimmers in the NCAA based off his events and improvement curve.