Ranking The 2021 Men’s NCAA Recruiting Classes: Honorable Mentions

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We continue our 2021 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 2021-2022 season.

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.
  • Several swimmers that would’ve been freshman last season deferred enrollment for one year in order to focus on the postponed Olympic Games. There were also teams that didn’t compete last year, such as those from the Ivy League and Arizona State, so last season’s would-be first-years are now redshirt freshmen in 2021-22. Due to the fact that these swimmers were included in our 2020 recruiting class rankings, they have been left out of these rankings.

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

Tennessee Volunteers: While not a massive class, the Vols bring in a few high-end international swimmers, including University of Iowa transfer Aleksey Tarasenko. Tarasenko, a native of Uzbekistan, comes in with bests of 19.6/42.8/1:35.0 in the sprint free events, which will give Tennessee a nice shot in the arm. Peruvian Olympian Joaquín Vargas will be an instant factor in mid-distance free, with LCM bests of 1:49/3:52 in the 200 and 400, roughly converting to 1:36.1/4:20.1 in yards. Domestic recruits Griffin Hadley (48.3/1:44.8 backstroke) and Gus Rothrock (1:46.7/3:51 IM) are also solid pickups.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish: The Irish are led by Chris Guiliano, who slotted in at 17th in our recruit rankings last season with a strong 20.1/43.4/1:35.8 freestyle combo. Guiliano fell out of the top-20 in the re-rank, but will be joined by a solid class full of 20-point free sprinters on the cusp of being relay contributors. They’ve also got distance man Josh Brown, who owns 4:25/9:00/15:10 best times, and IM/breaststroker Parker Macy (55.0/1:57.9 BR, 1:48.0 IM).

Northwestern Wildcats: The Wildcat class is headed up by the versatile Tyler Lu, who boasts elite PBs of 1:44.8/3:48 in the medley events, and has also been 1:42.9 in the 200 back. Canadian Graysen Bernard compliments Lu with similar strengths (49.7 BK, 1:48/3:54 IM conversions), and Georgetown transfer Connor Morikawa brings a strong presence on breaststroke (54.5/1:58.2).

Wisconsin Badgers: Wisconsin has multiple incoming swimmers that will make an immediate impact, including Turkish Olympian Yiğit Aslan, whose 1500 LCM free best of 15:05 pencils him in for a top-16 NCAA time in the 1650 (14:47). Matthew Segal (53.2/1:58.3) and transfer Will Myhre (51.7/1:55.7) provide a strong 1-2 punch on breast, and Ben Wiegand gives them a sub-20 50 freestyler.

Princeton Tigers: Princeton’s freshman class is led by the multi-talented Tyler Hong, who has 1:46 PBs in both the 200 back and 200 IM, can go sub-48 in the 100 back and fly, and could also find his way onto the free relays (20.7/44.9). The Tigers also have backstrokers Brett Feyerick (48.1/1:45.9) and Billy Swartwout (49.7/1:47.2), butterflyer Finn Dowdall (48.7, 20.5/44.7 FR) and a plethora of incoming divers.

Minnesota Golden Gophers: Another group with a standout international swimmer, Israeli Bar Soloveychik projects to be a contender for an NCAA cut in the 500 free (3:49.7LCM/4:17.4 conversion), and will be a valuable scorer for the Gophers in the 1000 in various dual meets (7:55.4LCM/8:52.7 conversion). Breaststroker Andrew Garner (55.0/1:59.7), backstroker Nathan Griffin (49.3/1:48.4) and flyer Chris Morris (48.5/1:48.4) are also solid additions with plenty of upside.

Mizzou Tigers: Mizzou has a couple of incoming IMers set to make an impact in Cade Oliver (1:46.4/3:49) and transfer Noah Scheuermann (1:48.7/3:50), though both do their best work in the 200 back and fly, respectively. Oliver owns a 200 back PB of 1:44.08, while Schuermann sits at 1:44.78 in the 200 fly. The class also features Ty Spillane (53.5/2:02 BR), Grant Bochenski (20.0/43.9 FR, 47.7 BK) and 1:46 backstroker Paul Shutt.

North Carolina Tar Heels: While the UNC class may be devoid of one single standout, they’ve got a pair of 1:44 backstrokers in Matthew Van Deusen and Jay Baker that will be valuable conference scorers from the jump. Dylan Citta comes in as a sub-55 breaststroker, and there’s plenty of free relay help on the way, led by 50.9 LCM Danish sprinter Sebastian Tullberg.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: The Yellow Jackets have a trio of big international swimmers coming into the fold, including the Turkish duo of Mert Kilavuz and Berke Saka. Kilavuz’s 1500 LCM time of 15:02 converts to 14:44 for the 1650, good to score at NCs, and Saka boasts elite 54.9/1:57.3 LCM backstroke bests. Josh Hanks (54.4/2:00.9) and Matt Steele (54.7/1:59.3) shore up the breaststroke, and Brazilian Leandro Odorici (20.1/44.7 conversions) brings an intriguing sprint free presence.

Florida State Seminoles: FSU brings in a deep class with plenty of backstroker/butterflyer types, and though no one is quite within the grasp of an NCAA invite, the group is talented enough as a whole that someone is likely to break out. Lithuanian Arijus Pavlidi enters with LCM bests of 55.3/1:59.6 in the backstroke events, and while those may not convert favorably to SCY (only 48.7/1:45.6), he’ll be an instant factor. The Seminoles have multiple 1:47s in the 200 fly and back, and also get a nice distance add in transfer Noah Smith, who is just a few seconds shy of an NCAA invite in the 1650 (15:03.8).

Pennsylvania Quakers: While Penn’s class may be relatively small and not particularly full of high-end talents, they’re led by one of the best incoming freshman this season in Matt Fallon, who moved up to #5 in our class re-rank. Fallon alone could easily outscore several of the other freshman classes listed here at NCAAs, with the ability to be a major player in the breaststroke (52.3/1:51.3) and IM events (1:45.6/3:44.0). He’ll have a couple of first-year medley swimmers to work with in Daniel Gallagher (1:49.2/3:52) and Aaron Rosen (1:50.4/3:57), and Nicholas Malchow (20.6/45.7) brings some potential in the sprint frees.

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GAUCHO
15 days ago

UCSB>Penn

Footman654
15 days ago

Santa Barbara should be on here tbh

Shhh
Reply to  Footman654
15 days ago

How do you know they aren’t ranked?

swimfan210_
Reply to  Footman654
15 days ago

Who do they have in their class?

Footman654
Reply to  swimfan210_
14 days ago

A 44/1:36.1/4:22 freestyler, several other 44’s, one of the top milers in California, a 47.9/1:45 backstroker who can also pop a 54 100 breaststroke, and a 19 in 50 free. Might just be me, but I think it’s a pretty solid class

Swimfan92
15 days ago

Y’all are either blind or lost. 2 ncaa scoring additions lands you on honorable mention?

Nonrevhoofan
15 days ago

SwimSwam doesn’t tell us how many teams will be ranked — 20, 25? Sly or just an oversight?

NC Fan
Reply to  Nonrevhoofan
15 days ago

Ooh…building suspense!

HolyVoly
Reply to  Nonrevhoofan
15 days ago

Previous years has been Top-16

GA Boy
15 days ago

Ummmm…… as someone who really does not like GT in the slightest this is a hard thing for me to say.

It seems to be an incredibly dramatic oversight to not have them higher than honorable mention. I understand that things often do not pan out well with international recruits, but nevertheless, GT definitely has a top 15 recruiting class in the class of 2021.

Cali
Reply to  GA Boy
15 days ago

You’ll probably be on there. This was the honorable mentions

Guy
Reply to  GA Boy
15 days ago

Agreed, Henry!

Qualified opinion
15 days ago

What happened to Santa Barbara tho?

VFL
15 days ago

Let’s go Vols!!

DJTrockstoYMCA
Reply to  VFL
15 days ago

Oh yea now thats what I am talking about! We have a great small but decisively strong class capable of pulling the Volunteers up into the top 10 at NCAAs. Balance in diving and swimming is key for this program. Can’t wait to see what Coach Murphy can do with the manVOLS! Stay top 3 at SECs and jump up to top 10 at NCAAs and you will be setting the course for championships in 2-3 years. I LOVE IT!

AllanJurovich
Reply to  DJTrockstoYMCA
15 days ago

They should hire the meet referees from Uzbekistan… If there is a virtual NCAAs this year, Tennessee will win for sure.

Snarky
Reply to  AllanJurovich
15 days ago

And swim at the Liberty pool!

Horninco
Reply to  DJTrockstoYMCA
15 days ago

“Diving is cheating”

Every fan of a team not named “Texas”

Guy
Reply to  Horninco
15 days ago

Purdue University is typing…

tea rex
15 days ago

Nice to see Princeton and Penn on there.
Harvard should dominate this year with Farris/Marcoux/Reihman/Zarian as super (duper?) seniors, but we could see a competitive Ivy League soon after.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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