Ranking The 2020 Men’s NCAA Recruiting Classes: Honorable Mentions

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We continue our spring recruiting series with a team-by-team look at the best recruiting classes entering the NCAA next season. The classes below are projected freshmen for the 2020-2021 season. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic presents a number of wrinkles to this analysis: some athletes didn’t get a senior-year taper meet. Some high-end recruits may opt to defer their enrollment for a year to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics. There’s also still the possibility that the 2020-2021 school year is delayed, along with NCAA sports. All things considered, these ranks are based on the 2020-2021 NCAA season happening, but as we usually view these recruiting classes over their projected four years of college swimming, a potential delay or cancellation of the upcoming season doesn’t have as big an impact on this analysis as it would seem.

A few important notes on our rankings:

  • Like most of our rankings, these placements are subjective. We base our team ranks on a number of factors: prospects’ incoming times are by far the main factor, but we also consider potential upside in the class, class size, relay impact and team needs filled. Greater weight is placed on known success in short course yards, so foreign swimmers are slightly devalued based on the difficulty in converting long course times to short course production.
  • Transfers are included.
  • For the full list of all verbally 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.

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

Wisconsin Badgers: The Badgers got a really good men’s recruiting class to go along with their incredible women’s class. Andrew Benson is a 53.6 breaststroker who is also on the cusp of 19-point in the 50 free. Jake Newmark (1:35.8/44.7) is going to be a key relay cog, and Jude Williams (15:07/4:21/1:37.7 free) is part of a deep distance class nationally.

Harvard Crimson: Harvard got one of the best pure distance types in the class in Arik Katz (15:01/4:23/1:37.9), along with a trio of breastrokers led by 54.9/1:57 Dylan RheeNotably, these ranks don’t include redshirt returnees, which could potentially be another huge source of additional NCAA points for Harvard.

Arizona State Sun Devils: Yet another class headed by a really good distance guy. Lleyton Plattel out of California is 15:03, 4:21.5 and 1:38.6. The Sun Devils also get Will Rosea 20.1/44.4 sprinter who should jump into a fast-rising freestyle group in Tempe.

Minnesota Golden Gophers: Minnesota has a huge 12-person class with a ton of distance talent. Sawyer Grimes is 15:05/4:23.0/1:39.3 and follows a growing pipeline from the Sandpipers of Nevada to the Golden Gophers of Minnesota. The Gophers also get talent in fly (47.7/1:47.2 Kaiser Neverman was mined from neighboring Wisconsin) and breast (54.5/2:03.3 Antonio Octaviano). We don’t count returning redshirts in these ranks, but worth noting that the Gophers also add redshirt freshman Lucas Farrara 20.0/44.2 sprinter.

Missouri Tigers: Mizzou has a relatively small class, but 46.6 flyer Daniel Wilson is a huge add. He’s also 20.0 and 43.4 in free. 20.1/44.4 Charlie Bunn brings more sprint depth to Columbia.

Arizona Wildcats: The Wildcats are buoyed by UNLV transfer Ogi Marica 1:34.2/43.6 freestyler and 1:41.8 200 backstroker. There are a couple other 20-point sprinters, including Ryan Perham (20.3/44.9), Logan Skiles (20.7) and Matt Muaddi (20.3).

Florida State Seminoles: Bulgaria’s Yordan Yanchev should be a massive addition, with long course times of 1:49.5 and 3:50.2 in freestyle. Nebraska’s Rush Clark adds a 47.2 butterfly and Canadian David Quirie (51.7/1:52.3 long course free) should be another great relay piece.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: 1:48.7/50.6 long course freestyler Batur Unlu out of Turkey is the biggest get here for Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets also signed Nathan Hayesa 1:44.6 backstroker.

Miami Redhawks: This is a pretty notable class for the Redhawks, who got a fast riser in Owen BlazerThe Pennsylvania product went from 49.6 to 47.9 in the 100 fly and 49.3 to 47.8 in the 100 back during high school season, and didn’t even get his finals 100 back swim in before the meet was canceled. Serbian import Uros Djokovic (1:50.6/50.9 long course free, 55.4 long course fly) should add a lot of relay value, too.

UNC Tar Heels: UNC mostly makes this list by virtue of a transfer from NCAA scoring diver Anton Down Jenkins of New Zealand. The former South Carolina Gamecock is probably an instant NCAA scorer. 47.2 flyer Boyd Poelke is another solid addition, and this class is at least 10 men deep.

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1 year ago

Gophers have South African stud James Freeman coming in.

Reply to  Jared Anderson
1 year ago

Minnesota had a strange class, I thought. Not just Grimes and Freeman, who both committed later (and perhaps after Kostoff was added to the staff), but I think altogether they have 5 distance kids in the class. Odd to add so many distance kids to a squad that, judging by their ’20 B1G performance, sorely needs some sprinters to help with relays.

1 year ago

do you do these for the other divisions and NAIA? Lots of good swimming there. I see commitment announcements for other divisions on SS.

1 year ago

Forgot about 47/1:44 backstroker Anthony Rincon for Harvard.

1 year ago

Wisconsin has a transfer from auburn, Josh Dannhauser, who adds more depth in their already thriving distance group. Already a past NCAA qualifier.

Reply to  RipTheNat
1 year ago

Wouldn’t this transfer put them in the top 16?

1 year ago

What about Will Hoogenboom for FSU?

1 year ago

For the heck of it, my top 16…based upon Swimswam’s list of committed athletes….doing my best Jared-channeling (top-end recruits, then HM, then BOTR, then # of athletes, etc.; without knowing much on specs of internationals and transfers). A fun way to pass the time…

(16) Texas A&M: 11 recruits, with BOTR Ribiero
(15) Tennessee: 13 recruits, with BOTR Lierz
(14) Indiana: 6 recruits, with BOTR Reich, DeWitt
(13) Auburn: 11 recruits, with BOTRs Bonson, Mikuta
(12) Ohio State: 12 recruits, with HM Conley, and BOTR Khouzam
(11) Notre Dame: 9 recruits, with HMs Faikish, Christianson, and BOTR Smith
(10) USC: 7 recruits, with #13 Dillard, and BOTRs Syrkin, Sobolowski
(9) Alabama: 8 recruits,… Read more »

Reply to  SwimminIsGood
1 year ago

Oh, I forgot and missed that Tomer Frankel will be at Indiana this fall, if all goes to plan. With that, perhaps move them to #7, then shift the others back…

Quarantined Swimming
Reply to  SwimminIsGood
1 year ago

One thing to note with Stanford and UT is that UT’s best recruits tend to overlap a lot with their best events, while Stanford’s is more spread out. For example, Foster crosses over with Heasley at the 400 IM, Carozza, Heasley, Tannenberger, and Johnston all share the 500, and Heasley and Johnston both swim the mile. Also all their recruits seem to be able to throw down a 200 free too lol.
Stanford, on the other hand, is much more diverse. Hu and Minakov as flyers, Dang as breastroke, and Sequeira as backstroke, etc.

Fly gang
Reply to  SwimminIsGood
1 year ago

You forgot mikkel gadgaard who’s coming from Overseas who goes sub 350 4 free scm,

Reply to  SwimminIsGood
1 year ago

Don’t forget Texas is getting three new divers next year. Two are their respective state high school champions, with one being the top dive recruit in the nation for his class. They are also getting a Canadian national teamer who is already a 2x medalist at WUGs from 2019. Along with Windle next year, Texas diving is looking to remain a powerhouse

Reply to  Longhorns
1 year ago

Duperre, McCourt, and is the Canadian diver Paradis?

Reply to  JeahBrah
1 year ago

yes, Laurent Gosselin-Paradis

Reply to  SwimminIsGood
1 year ago

Looks good to me… NC State also has Alexander Norgaard coming in depending on if the deferred olympics makes him decide to take an extra year.

Reply to  SwimminIsGood
1 year ago

I agree with this list but would put UGA at #3.
They got #2 and #3 recruits, and also got two foreign power houses and an instate breastroker which they needed.

1 year ago

i don’t understand. The headline says ‘ranking’ but the list says ‘in no particular order’?

1 year ago

Benson looks pretty legit for Wisconsin… 47.6/50.6/53.6/44.0 is some serious 2 IM potential, and a 1:35 2 free from a rolling start is a nice bonus

Reply to  Swimdude
1 year ago

Benson is a great get and Wisconsin has a nice class coming in and with more legit boys already committed for next year. Yuri and his staff are making a world of difference to that program in just a few short years.

Reply to  Swimdude
1 year ago

Thank you for recognizing Benson’s depth. Yuri and crew are really making strides on both sides. It’ll be fun to watch.

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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