NCAA Champion Ryan Hoffer Confirms That He’ll Go Pro, Enter ISL Draft

Collegiate swimming star Ryan Hoffer confirmed to SwimSwam on Friday that he does plan to turn pro and race in the International Swimming League this fall, forgoing a final year of eligibility at Cal.

Hoffer swam for 4 seasons at Cal, but like all NCAA Division I swimmers during the 2020-2021 season, he is eligible for a 5th year because of challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

During his Cal career, he won 7 NCAA titles. In 2021, as a senior, he won the 50 free, 100 fly, and 100 free, and was also on the winning 200 and 400 free relays. In 2019, as a sophomore, he won the 50 free and was on the winning Cal 200 free relay. He held top 3 seeds in the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 fly heading into the 2020 NCAA Championship meet, which was ultimately canceled.

In total, Hoffer earned 27 out of a possible 28 All-America certificates in his collegiate career and won 18 Pac-12 titles. He was named the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year in 2020 and 2021.

A short course specialist known for monster underwaters, Hoffer is widely-expected to be one of the top two picks in the ISL rookie draft, which will take place on June 28.

In the first round of new additions, where only league newcomers are eligible to be drafted, each team receives one selection in reverse order of league finish from last season. This means that Aqua Centurions, DC Trident, and New York Breakers will get the top 3 choices.

Hoffer and Dutch breaststroker Arno Kamminga are the top two rookie entrants in the league. If the general managers see things that way, Hoffer should end up with aqua – a team that already is retaining male breaststrokers Nicolo Martinenghi and Fabio Scozzoli from last season.

That would leave Kamminga for the Trident at pick #2.

Hoffer is the prototype of the kind of swimmer who will benefit most from the ISL’s format. His best finish at the Olympic Trials was 19th place in the 50 free. He still is a ways away from making a major long course U.S. international team, which for most swimmers makes it challenging to extend a career. In the ISL, however, where the 8 top earners last season cleared more than $100,000, Hoffer could keep up a viable living in the sport thanks to his short course abilities.

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Splashanddasher
2 months ago

I think Ryan will develop into a better meters swimmer through swimming more SCM through ISL as a gateway. I think he’ll be really fun to watch and hopefully he can grow into an respectable contributor on future national teams.

Swimmer
Reply to  Splashanddasher
2 months ago

Totally agree. Seemed to work pretty well for Coleman Stewart who was similarly dominate underwater

mds
Reply to  Swimmer
2 months ago

dominant

HJones
2 months ago

Good luck to Hoffer and I really look forward to watching him in ISL, but I really hope he can figure out how to translate his SC success into LCM. Maybe he can be a late bloomer in the big pool like Coleman Stewart?

Emmette Gamble Jr
2 months ago

Smart move Mr Hoffer.

MIKE IN DALLAS
2 months ago

Entry into the ISL may, indeed, extend his career all the way to Paris 2024!

Ghost
2 months ago

I think my grandmother is the only one not on the Rookie List!

bobthebuilderrocks
2 months ago

Not to go off-topic, but I just noticed Popovici is on the rookie list. I guess that means no NCAA route for him, which considering his rate of improvement is likely a good thing for him to stay with whatever training situation he has currently.

Ghost
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
2 months ago

Look at most of the International studs don’t go the NCAA route. Italians, Aussies, GB, Japanese, Russians (unless they grew up in US), etc. of course there are going to be exceptions!

bobthebuilderrocks
Reply to  Ghost
2 months ago

You’re right, I just remember there being some speculation wondering if he’d potentially go that route after his 1:46 2 free and it looks like it’s a no.

mds
Reply to  Ghost
2 months ago

Leon Marchand, unless plans change

Troyy
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
2 months ago

So I guess the age rule has been watered down significantly.

bobthebuilderrocks
Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

I actually forgot the minimum age was 18+. I guess fast swimmers are an exception.

DCSwim
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
2 months ago

Guess there’s no “zero tolerance” mantra for this rule

PsuFan
2 months ago

Anyone have an idea of who will be the new head coach at Texas?

Swimfan
Reply to  PsuFan
2 months ago

Speculation is Wyatt Collins.

JeahBrah
2 months ago

I don’t see Cal’s other star seniors on the list, anyone know their plans?
Staka and Jiang are on the list from Texas but no Katz.

Pvdh
Reply to  JeahBrah
2 months ago

Retiring?

HJones
Reply to  Pvdh
2 months ago

Katz could be taking some time off or something based on his last IG post. I hope he sticks through till 2024 though.

HJones
Reply to  JeahBrah
2 months ago

I know Trenton Julian said he is going to stick through till 2024.

PFA
Reply to  JeahBrah
2 months ago

Alvin jiang is on the list.

Third 50
Reply to  JeahBrah
2 months ago

Yea trenton is taking 5th year then going pro

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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