Reaction Time: 2018 Is By Far the Fastest Recruiting Class off the Blocks

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
Alabama 1
Arizona 1
Arizona State 11
Auburn 2
Cal 3
Cincinnati 1
Duke 1
Florida 8
Florida State 1
Georgia 3
Indiana 3
Kentucky 4
Michigan 1
Minnesota 1
NC State 5
North Carolina 1
Notre Dame 4
Ohio State 2
Pitt 2
South Carolina 1
Stanford 1
Tennessee 1
Texas 9
Texas A&M 1
Virginia 1
Virginia Tech 9
Wisconsin 2
Grand Total 83

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.

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I’m watching where the 3 breaststokers (Jonathan Cook, Daniel Roy & Josh Bottelberghe) from Washington state land. Cal and Michigan have locked up one each (Whitley and Will Chan respectively). To my knowledge the other contenders – Texas, NC State, Stanford and rising ASU – are yet to do so.


nerd nation continue to steamroll the competition it isnt even fair 🙂
’17 G 4 6 8 10 12 noone else can come close

georgia just 1 thats all
kal a big fat zero whats new

tells u sumin on quality of programs
obvious which school the best recruits all wanna goto


Maybe that’s why the other top programs are starting to recruit more aggressively earlier. Stanford had to wait for a preliminary thumbs up from Admissions, which can’t happen until second semester of a HS student’s junior year, at the earliest. If other top teams swoop in earlier, they can offer guarantees that the Stanford coaching staff can’t.


Well believe it or not, not everyone who is recruited by Stanford wants to go to Stanford.


Cal obviously won the men this year, but Texas got 3 really solid guys.
They should continue to battle for the NCAA championship for the foreseeable future. I don’t see room for anyone else.

Captain Awesome

How did Cal win when they didn’t win?


the recruiting battle obviously…..that’s what this article is about


Disagree. Texas got crazy fast guys already.

bobo gigi

Captain Awesome, because only in America you can win when you lose….

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/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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