Revisiting NCAA Recruit Rankings: Men’s High School Class of 2013

Each summer, college swimming fans look forward to recruiting – the lifeblood of any NCAA swim program. Since 2012, we’ve been ranking down the top NCAA prospects in the nation from each recruiting class. But sports are inherently unpredictable, and even the most sure-fire prospect can go awry or completely change their role over four years.

2017 offers us our first chance to look backwards at the first class we ever ranked and see how they stacked up over four years of college swimming.

First, a few notes:

  • Most of the data we’re tracking here deals with NCAA scoring. Obviously, some swimmers are great assets for their teams in dual meets and conference competition without ever being national factors. While we don’t discount the impact of those types of swimmers, the difference in competition between various teams’ dual meet schedules and conference meets makes NCAA scoring the best “apples to apples” comparisons between swimmers.
  • Relays are another point of contention, as a swimmer in a strong program has more opportunity for NCAA relays, though they also have more competition for those relay spots. We’ve mostly left relay results out of the data below, except where specifically indicated. That, too, gives us a more fair comparison between athletes.
  • We did our best to scour NCAA results over the past four years, but it’s certainly possible we made a mistake in compiling our data. If you spot an error, please respectfully let us know in the comment section so we can update our work!

Since our annual recruit rankings only take into account domestic recruits, the following analysis won’t include international swimmers. We’ve found that determining when international students will come to the U.S. or officially start their NCAA eligibility is too unpredictable. Fitting swimmers into specific recruiting classes is often a patchwork effort, so we’ve only included domestic swimmers in this data.

Revisiting Our Top 10

Check out this post for our analysis of the top 10 recruits in the high school class of 2013. Bear in mind that this was posted in July of 2012, when recruiting season opened on these swimmers prior to their senior year of high school.

Here’s a look at our top 10 recruits, plus how many individual points they scored at NCAAs in each of their four years:

Rank Name College Team Total NCAA Points 2014 NCAA Points 2015 NCAA Points 2016 NCAA Points 2017 NCAA Points
1 Jack Conger Texas 160 38 46 33 43
2 Ryan Murphy Cal 217 51 54 56 56
3 Steven Stumph USC 14 0 2 9 3
4 Renny Richmond Arizona 0 0 0 0 0
5 Reed Malone USC 79 3 16 30 0
HM Kyle Darmody Auburn 23 13 9 1 0
HM Matthew Josa Queens/Cal 120 (DII) / 0 (DI) 60 (DII – Queens) 60 (DII – Queens) Redshirt 0 (Cal)
HM Erik Risolvato Arizona 0 0 0 0 0
HM Clark Smith Texas 71 0 26 5 40
HM Evan Pinion Tennessee 11 Redshirt 11 0 (pre-meet scratch) 0

A few big takeaways:

  • Ryan Murphy was the undisputed individual star of the class. He scored 217 of a possible 240 NCAA points individually, plus 12 total NCAA titles between relays and individuals. His backstroke leadoff legs on medley relays were routinely among the fastest ever swum, and he gave Cal four years of clean water for the rest of their medleys.
  • Our #1 recruit, Jack Congerwas a little less productive individually. But it’s quite likely Texas wouldn’t even trade Conger for Murphy in retrospect, given the huge role Conger played in three straight national titles. Conger has always been a massive relay asset, and won 8 NCAA relay titles. He also gave up an individual event (and the accompanying points) in 2016 to focus on his relay swims, though that event was the 100 back where there’s no guarantee he would have scored.
  • Steven Stumph was always going to be a bit on the lower end points-wise, given he was pretty much pigeon-holed into breaststroke. Still, he took at least a year to really come around before becoming a pretty productive role player in the class.
  • Though Renny Richmond never scored individually for Arizona, he was a part of NCAA relays over several years.
  • Reed Malone will probably be forever known for his incredible anchor leg on USC’s 2015 NCAA title-winning 800 free relay. He struggled his senior year but was lights out for several seasons and played a key role on two national title-winning relays.
  • Kyle Darmody was as big a relay piece as anyone, even if his individual points don’t reflect it. He, too, had a rough senior season.
  • Matthew Josa started his career in the NCAA’s Division II, where he won 10 NCAA titles and scored a perfect 120 NCAA points. He took two DQs in scoring races this year for Cal in Division I, which drags down his numbers some, but he’s got one year of eligibility remaining and should add to his numbers next year.
  • Easily the most interesting story of this bunch is Erik Risolvatowho originally committed to Arizona. He didn’t wind up attending Arizona, surfacing instead at Indian River State College in Florida. But he never competed for IRSC and dropped off the map for awhile. He’s since gotten back into competition and turned pro, contending for an Olympic spot for Puerto Rico – which was derailed at the last minute.
  • Clark Smith‘s story is well-known. He had a forgettable freshman year, blew up as a sophomore, blew up more as a junior midseason but then had a disastrous NCAA meet. He came back with force this year, though, to finish with the 4th-highest point total of this top 10.
  • Tennessee’s Evan Pinion always seemed to deal with injuries, scratching last year’s NCAAs with a medical issue. He would typically hit massive swims in the fall to show his potential, but could never stay healthy enough to rack up big NCAA points. He could have another year of eligibility left if he’s physically able to continue.

NCAA Titles (Relay & Individual) Among Top Class of 2013 Recruits:

Swimmer NCAA DI Titles (Ind or Rel)
Jack Conger 9
Ryan Murphy 12
Steven Stumph 0
Renny Richmond 0
Reed Malone 2
Kyle Darmody 1
Matt Josa 0
Erik Risolvato 0
Clark Smith 4
Evan Pinion 0

Other Impactful Swimmers in the High School Recruiting Class of 2013

Of course, not every contributor comes from our top 10 list. Some swimmers develop extremely well in college. Some swimmers slip under our radar, or don’t really show their ability until their senior year of high school, after our rankings come out.

We dug through NCAA results to find the best American swimmers from this class to not appear on our top 10 list. Again, it’s not always easy to account for redshirt years, gap years or mistakes in an athlete’s listed class each season. So if we forgot anyone, respectfully let us know in the comments!

Note: We tracked these athletes based on individual All-America honors, or finishes inside the NCAA’s top 8 in any given individual event in any given year:

Individual NCAA A Final (Or Top 8) Appearances, High School Class of 2013

Name Team Total: 2014 2015 2016 2017
Will Licon Texas 10 1 3 3 3
Michael Chadwick Missouri 5 1 2 2
Brandon Fiala Virginia Tech 5 3 2
Connor Oslin Alabama 5 1 2 2
Pace Clark Georgia 3 2 1
Matt McHugh Ohio State 3 1 2
Will Glass Texas 2 1 1
Adam Linker NC State 1 1
Robert Owen Virginia Tech 1 1
Andrew Sansoucie Missouri 1 1
Brett Pinfold Wisconsin 1 1
Michael Duderstadt Auburn 1 1
Peter Kropp Duke 1 1
Carter Griffin Missouri 1 1
Trent Jackson Notre Dame 1 1
Santo Condorelli USC 1 1

 

Obviously, 7-time NCAA champ Will Licon is the biggest name here. He, as much as anyone, exploded over his college career. Here are Licon’s top times as of July 2012, when we ranked his recruiting class:

Will Licon As of July 2012

  • 100 breast: 55.80
  • 200 breast: 1:58.08
  • 200 IM: 1:49.06
  • 400 IM: 3:54.65

It’s a testament to Licon’s growth over college that since then, he’s dropped about five seconds in the 100 breast, more than 10 in the 200 breast, about nine in the 200 IM and a whopping 17 in the 400 IM. He wound up scoring 194.5 points at NCAAs individually, second-most behind only Murphy in this class.

Chadwick is another interesting name. He was primarily a breaststroker out of high school, with times of 58.3 and 2:09.4 as of our recruit rankings. He became one of the NCAA’s best sprinters, complete with a runner-up finish in the 100 free this year. His Mizzou class featured 3 of the best high school recruits not in our top 10: himself, Carter Griffin and Andrew Sansoucie.

Other teams with multiple swimmers on this list: Virginia Tech and Texas.

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JP input is too short
4 years ago

Mizzou seems good at finding miscast swimmers like Chadwick – their big stud for a few years was Sam Tierney, who came in as a 50.3/1:51 backstroker and came out as a 51.5/1:51 breaststroker.

GARYP
Reply to  JP input is too short
4 years ago

Great job by coach Rhodenbaugh of spotting underrated talent. Props to him for allowing them to peak for the NCCA championships, too, at the expense of their team placing at the SEC Championships.

IU Alum
4 years ago

Are the bottom guys, the “overlooked” men section take into account NCAA relays? Or is that just individual swim?

Don\'t Worry About it
4 years ago

Chadwick was much faster than that in HS. He was 44.5 100 free, 55.9 100 breast, and 2:03.0 200 breast coming out of HS.

Swimhistorian
Reply to  Don\'t Worry About it
4 years ago

Love that name, which I’ll assume is a tribute to Paula Lynn Hobbs.

SwimPhan
4 years ago

It may be because they were not Americans but two of USC’s recruits that year (Santo Candorelli from Canada and Dylan Carter from T&T) turned out to be Olympians and All Americans for the Trojans.The fifth USC recruit for 2013 was age-group record holder Michael Domagala who also had dual US-Poland citizenship. Domagala, like Richmond and Risolvato for Arizona, seems to have been an “early bloomer” and never developed into a major D1 impact swimmer.
Assessing an athlete’s potential going from high school/junior to major D1 is competition always has a big element of risk. Check out the college football and basketball boards with what seems like endless discussions about “5 star busts” and “3 star future pro draft choices”.

Tomato
Reply to  Jared Anderson
4 years ago

Did he not make it into the A final in the 100 free this year? I may be wrong, the results aren’t nearby.

goalrilla
Reply to  Tomato
4 years ago

He did, tied for 5th.

KeithM
Reply to  SwimPhan
4 years ago

Actually at the time he was recruited Condorelli had American sporting citizenship coming off competing at the 2012 US trials.

Conger
4 years ago

Conger didn’t actually sacrifice to do 5 relays in 2016, but was signed up for the 100 Back and scratched.

Obviously an incredible swimmer, but Murphy blew it away with being the top recruit. Value to relays with his backstroke, and was 18 mid/41 mid/1:32 low on freestyle, he was legit. I also think it’s a big benefit to Cal recruiting when they have the undisputed backstroke king training with them. Cool to see how everyone panned out!

not tony the tiger
4 years ago

Its interesting seeing the comments about ones like murphy and licon in the past articles for their recruiting class and then seeing how ridiculously fast they are now.

Whatever
4 years ago

Oslin’s improvements are as impressive as Licon’s. Went from a 49.66 to 44.56 in the 100 back. Went from a 1:51.59 to 1:39.23 in the 200 back. Aslo a pretty great 50 back split of 20.39. His times are not NCAA records like Licon’s, but his drops are crazy. It will be a huge task to replace him, even though Bama will still have Kaliszak next year.

Maverick
Reply to  Whatever
4 years ago

I would strongly disagree. Let’s rewind to on 2012/2013.
If I asked you if someone went from 1:58 to 1:47 200 breast or 1:51 to 1:39 in the 200 back…. which would be more impressive… I could guarantee you would say 200 breast every single time.

JP input is too short
Reply to  Maverick
4 years ago

That’s as much because in 2012/2013 a sub-1:50 200 breast was almost unheard of (Cordes didn’t do it for the first time until NCAAs that year) as it is the amount of improvement.

Reid
Reply to  Maverick
4 years ago

It’s a moot point because you’re comparing Licon’s junior year times to Oslin’s senior year times (though he did hit 48.99). By his senior year Licon was 54.69, 1:56.00, 1:46.24, and 3:47.75. Still huge drops but not quite of the same magnitude as Oslin’s.

Tomato
Reply to  Whatever
4 years ago

That’s very similar for Taylor Dale from UGA.

Don
4 years ago

How about an article about 2nd and 3rd tier recruits who have vastly exeeded expectations or projections?

Tammy Salami
Reply to  Don
4 years ago

So many people would comment and they could honestly just do it through a comment section

Andysup
Reply to  Don
4 years ago

Isn’t that what the bottom section of the article is for or am I missing your question?

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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