SwimSwam Pulse: 41% Pick Sanders To Florida As Biggest NCAA Transfer

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers to predict the most impactful transfer of the upcoming men’s NCAA season:


Question: Who will be the most impactful transfer this NCAA men’s season?

41% of voters selected Arizona-to-Florida IMer Grant Sanders as the most impactful transfer of the upcoming NCAA season, besting Auburn-to-NC State sprinter Jacob Molacek and Ohio State-to-Tennessee diver Colin Zeng.

That’s a bit surprising, considering how well NC State fans tend to turn out in our polls (and in our comments section). Molacek has been hailed (rightfully so) as a massive pickup for NC State, especially with several key relay legs graduating. Molacek’s sprinting versatility give the Wolfpack a plethora of options on medleys, with several men among the best in the NCAA at multiple strokes: Molacek (free, breast, fly), Ryan Held (free, fly), Justin Ress (back, free) and Andreas Vazaios (fly, back, free).

On the other hand, Sanders is a tailor-made Florida pickup who follows in the footsteps of other high-profile IM transfers who have worked out incredibly well for the Gators (Conor Dwyer – remember when he was at Iowa? Anyone? – and Jan Switkowski among them). Sanders is a 3:44/1:45 IMer joining a 400 IM factory, so it’s no surprise he’s got SwimSwam voters excited.

Maybe the underrated one in the bunch is Colin Zengthe 2016 NCAA Champion diver who is moving from Ohio State to Tennessee. Zeng won NCAAs on platform in 2016, and finished 3rd last year. It seems unlikely we’ll see Molacek or Sanders win an NCAA title individually, so there’s an argument to be made for Zeng. But Zeng only has his individual contributions to fall back on, where Molacek and Sanders (1:35.2 in the 200 free) can both have relay impacts as well.

All three appear great fits in their new programs. Molacek is perfect for NC State’s sprint-and-relay-oriented program. Sanders has the grit and versatility to thrive in Florida’s tough system. And Zeng joins a Tennessee dive crew that produced four-time All-American Liam Stone


Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters for their preseason NCAA winner pick:

Who is your preseason pick to win men's NCAAs?

View Results

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Founded in 2004, A3 Performance has a history of developing quality, innovative products at a great price. A3 Performance is the fastest growing brand of competitive swimwear in the United States, driven to innovate the sport of swimming and motivated to help swimmers reach their goals. We are The Performance Swimwear Company.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner

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5 years ago

Molacek could be big for NC State. But Sanders on the breakout summer coming from the disaster U of A program after a top 8 200 IM from WC trials is a tough one to top. Agree with this.

Reply to  Swimswum
5 years ago

But can he convert that ability into short course yards?

Reply to  Chewbaca
5 years ago

I am willing to take the bet he will. Adding Sanders if he hits has the chance to put Florida to #2. I also know Jacob well, great guy, but has his struggles. Could literally be as good as he wants to be, I think he picked a good place after auburn. We will see.

Reply to  Swimswum
5 years ago

You assume he will final in more things than he likely will; yes he placed top 8 at world trials but his time isn’t exactly what I would call crazy fast, and his yards times aren’t at scoring level. Molacek however comes in with tons of times than can score.

Reply to  Swimswum
5 years ago

Yards speak louder than meters

Ex Quaker
5 years ago

Grant Sanders is quick, don’t get me wrong, but Molacek is the real deal. He can swim everything, has the potential for one dirty 200IM, and could be an unbelievably valuable relay piece… he seemed like an obvious pick to me.

Reply to  Ex Quaker
5 years ago

Someone probably refreshed and voted a lot. I would have put Zeng over Sanders too, Zeng is guaranteed to score

5 years ago

Someone definitely exploited the voting system

Reply to  Uberfan
5 years ago

I agree. The last time I checked the poll results Molacek was winning. It seems unlikely that enough individual people voted to change the results that much, especially when people have unlimited votes.

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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