As we approach July 1st, the date that had traditionally been the “starting block” for the college recruiting season, we notice that fully 13 of our top 20 boys from the high school class of 2018, and 10 of our top 20 high school girls, have already verbally committed to Division I programs. This is in stark contrast to past years, when “early” (pre-July 1) verbals were more of an outlier than the norm. And the phenomenon isn’t limited to the big names in high school swimming; we have already written articles about 83 athletes from the class of 2018. Last year at this time we had reported on 28 verbal commitments, of which 5 were top-20 boys and none were top-20 girls.
In some respects, that this rush to register one’s verbal commitment is happening in 2017 is ironic, given that the industry is moving in the other direction. The most notorious of early-commit sports is lacrosse, where it has become not-unheard-of for 8th graders to announce their verbal pledges to collegiate programs. Before ever having set foot on a high school campus. Most college lax coaches now admit it had gotten out of hand, and support the legislation passed by the NCAA Division I Council on April 14th. In an effort to “put the genie back in the bottle” as it were, the new NCAA rule, which is effective immediately, prohibits recruiting contact between college lacrosse coaches and prospective student-athletes (“PSA”) and their families before September 1 of the PSA’s junior year in high school.
It is with some irony therefore, that the swimming and diving class of 2018 has seemingly upped the tempo of their commitments, securing their spots on class of 2022 rosters before even having taken one official recruiting trip. Here are the colleges that have received early pledges:
|Team||M&W Combined 2018 Commits|
Meanwhile, we now have about 1480 names on the list of athletes from the class of 2017 who plan to swim and dive in all three divisions of the NCAA, in the NAIA, or in junior college. We have added a column to the spreadsheet to show our pre-season ranking, so you can now sort by that criterion as well.