SwimSwam’s #6 Austin Katz Commits, Says ‘Hook Em’

In the spirit of Halloween, Austin Katz, SwimSwam’s No. 6 high school recruit in the Class of 2017, tricks Florida and treats the men’s defending National Champion Texas Longhorns with his verbal commitment. That leaves Sean Grieshop as the lone uncommitted in the high school boys’ top 10.

Katz announced his commitment via his Twitter account:

Katz is from Sarasota, Florida, and he swims for the Sarasota YMCA Sharks and Riverview High School. He is the reigning FHSAA 4A Champion in the 200 free (1:37.02) and 100 back (47.92). More impressively, he finished 5th in the 200m back, 15th in the 100m back and 51st in the 200m free at this summer’s U.S. Olympic Trials.

It’s a bit of a trick for the Florida Gators because not only is Katz a Florida native, but also his older sister, Taylor, is currently a senior on the Gator women’s team, while his older brother, Alex, was supposed to transfer into the men’s program this season from Michigan. (Alex Katz, however, is not listed on this season’s roster for Florida.) The Gators did, however, pick up Michael Taylor from the State of Georgia, so the loss of Katz has already been mitigated.

Depending on who you ask, Katz is the best backstroke prospect in his class. Michael Taylor is faster in the 100 (both yards and meters), but Katz is faster in the 200 (at least in yards, and he beat Taylor in the 200m finals at the Olympic Trials). Katz also has the edge over Taylor in the 100 and 200 freestyle short course.

His best times are:

Event  Time (SCY) Time (LCM)
50 Free  21.04(r)  24.07
100 Free  44.89  52.02
200 Free  1:36.67  1:51.39(r)
500 Free  4:27.24  3:59.17
50 Back  22.68(r)  27.78
100 Back  47.23  55.41
200 Back  1:41.48  1:57.20

The Olympic Trials Finalist will feel right at home at Texas, where middle-distance freestylers (Olympic Champion Townley Haas), sprint freestylers (Brett Ringgold and Joseph Schooling) and backstroke specialists (John Shebat and Ryan Harty) are plenty. However, the Longhorns will be in a bit of a rebuilding phase when Katz arrives on campus, after losing Jack Conger, Clark Smith, Will Glass and Will Licon to graduation.

With his commitment, Katz joins No. 10 recruit Chris YeagerColter Carman, No. 12 recruit Sam Pomajevich, and Luke Bowman in Texas’s Class of 2021.

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email to [email protected].

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6 years ago

I have zero information where Sean Grieshop will commit, but do not like the fact that Bob Bowman was at the National Team practice the other day, because I hope Sean stays in Austin. Austin Katz is a great addition though. Eddie can teach him thing or two about backstroke. Hook’em.

Iceage Swimmer
6 years ago

So excited for Austin! He’s from my town, and I can’t wait to see Coach Reese help him reach his full potential. Plus, what a cool city to live in as a college kid.

6 years ago

day-um! 1:57 2BK, quick!

Baker\'s Pearl Earrings
6 years ago

Katz-Taylor reminds me of Conger-Murphy a couple years ago. Interested to see where the future will take these two young men.

samuel huntington
6 years ago

oh wow, solid class for Texas

Cal Back Onslaught?\"
6 years ago

Welcome to the 40 acres! Hope you like “bling” because you will have a chance to add a few championship rings to your jewelry box. Hook’em

Reply to  Cal Back Onslaught?\"
6 years ago

Not with cal around

Reply to  Uberfan
6 years ago

Eddie Reese will be spoon feeding you a big slice of humble pie for a couple of more years – try not to choke on it. Hook’em

Reply to  Back-to-Back-to-Back-Back....
6 years ago

Must be so fun swimming for a team that doesn’t even need you to perform @ClarkSmith