Top 20 Recruit Matthew Willenbring Verbals To Texas

The Texas men continue to build a stellar recruiting class before recruiting season officially opens, pulling their third top-20 recruit of the high school class of 2018 in #16 Matthew Willenbring.

Our high school boys recruit rankings drop tomorrow morning for those curious about the rest of the ranks. Our girls rankings came out this morning, and you can see them here.

Willenbring is part of a really deep class of great 200 freestylers, and is also one of the better IMers in this recruiting class. His early commitment to Texas follows a summer of 2016 in which the Longhorns put three men on the U.S. Olympic 4×200 free relay. Willenbring is also excellent through the relay-distance freestyles, which makes him an ideal NCAA prospect.

Willenbring’s Top Times

  • 200 IM – 1:47.00
  • 200 free – 1:35.26
  • 100 free – 43.71
  • 50 free – 20.25

Willenbring is really only just starting to put it together in the 200 IM, where he’s dropped 2.7 seconds in a little more than a year and 5.7 in the past two years. Here’s a look at his progression in that event:

  • February 2015: 1:52.76
  • December 2015: 1:50.03
  • February 2016: 1:49.73
  • December 2016: 1:47.00

He’s an in-state pickup for Texas, coming from the Austin Swim Club and Westlake High School in Austin, Texas.

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected]

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5 years ago

He is very tall and has loads of potential. I saw his 200 free at Jrs last winter and noticed he doesn’t use his size to his advantage YET–12-13 strokes per 25 which could be 9-10. Very excited to see his progression at UT.

5 years ago

Gotta say it again . . . When was the last time a 200 freestyler did anything at Texas?!

5 years ago

I have followed Matt (and his brother Mark’s) swimming for about 8 years. He is about 6’8” lanky but frame to put muscle on it.
Since he was 10, he was a swimmer that if you watch from beginning of the race, you would think he would finish last, with unorthodox technique. But he was a winner on all age group levels. Very anxious to follow his swimming for next 4 years as a Longhorn.

Swimming Fan
Reply to  PsychoDad
5 years ago

The last height estimate I heard was 6’11”, which might possibly make him the tallest elite level swimmer in the country. He has noticeably added some bulk in the past year working with Brendan Hanson at Austin Swim Club and he has the frame to add quite a bit more. Matthew also has an older brother, Taylor, who swims at Davidson. Zettle and Willenbring will be re-united at UT as they swam together as age groupers at NTN.

Swimming Fan
5 years ago

Given his size, Matthew may have the greatest potential of anyone in the 2018 class.

Reply to  Swimming Fan
5 years ago

I’ll bet 4 years from now we’ll be predicting an NCAA Championship for Matthew.

5 years ago

He went 1:46.28 200 IM this year too but got dq’d

Speed Racer
Reply to  MLAFormat
5 years ago

So he didn’t go 1:46.28. A DQ is a DQ just ask Matthew Josa at Cal.

5 years ago

Correction: Matthew Willenbring is actually the #6 ranked recruit, not #16:

Reply to  SWIMFAN9
5 years ago

You’re talking about in the state of Texas, right

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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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