Top Ranked Recruit Reece Whitley Verbals To Cal

The top ranked recruit in the boys high school class of 2018 Reece Whitley has verbally committed to swim for Cal. Whitley posted the announcement via twitter Saturday.

Whitley is a native of Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, and currently attends William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia.

He’s the sixth top 10 recruit to make their verbal commitment, and the fourth out of the top five. He’s the first one ranked in the top 20 to commit to Cal. Other top commitments so far include #2 Drew Kibler verballing to Texas and #4 Cody Bybee committing to Arizona State.

Despite Whitley being Cal’s first top 20 commitment, he is the best of the class, and they have been exceptional at getting top recruits in recent years. Last year they nabbed #1 and #2 in Ryan Hoffer and Sean Grieshop, in the 2016 class they got #2 Michael Jensen and the 2015 class landed them #1 Andrew Seliskar and #3 Michael Thomas.

Whitley is best known for his breaststroke abilities, boasting bests of 51.8 and 1:52.3 SCY which instantly put him in NCAA A-finals. But he’s much more than a breaststroker, solid all-around, especially in the 200 IM where his best of 1:43.93 is contention for a second swim at NCAAs as well. It also works out well that Cal’s current top breaststroker Connor Hoppe has one year left, so Whitley will slot in as soon as he leaves.

There’s not much Whitley hasn’t accomplished in his young career. He has done damage on the U.S. junior scene in the breaststroke events, and has made an impact internationally as well. At the 2015 World Juniors he won silver in the 100 breast and took 4th in the 200, and followed up with a bronze in the 100 at the 2016 Junior Pan Pacs.

At the 2016 Olympic Trials he was a semi-finalist in both breaststroke events, placing 13th and 14th overall respectively and gaining valuable experience.

Of all the swimmers who qualified for the NCAA A-final in either the 100 or 200 breast this past season, only one of them wasn’t a junior or a senior. This indicates that the current crop of freshman and sophomore breaststrokers in the NCAA is relatively weak, and once Whitley arrives he’ll likely be doing some serious damage.

Here’s a look at his best times:

Event SCY Best
100 Breast 51.84
200 Breast 1:52.37
200 IM 1:43.93
400 IM 3:47.15
200 Fly 1:48.80
200 Back 1:47.14

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]

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago

I’m surprised his 200 back is faster than his 200 fly… normally breastrokers are good flyers because of a similar hip undulation, but maybe his underwaters are key for him…

5 years ago

It looks like Cal’s gonna have trouble holding off Zona State, let alone competing with Texas, something they’ve done worse and worse over the last four years.

5 years ago

4D Chess:
>Eddie is out of money for Class of 2018
>Reece wants to commit but cant
>Tells Reece to go to Cal
>Eddie steps down in three years
>More money frees up from graduating swimmers
>Durden takes Texas Job
>Reece transfers to Texas with the same coach
>Texas unbeatable for years to come

Reply to  goldmedalgal
5 years ago

Durden won’t take the Texas job.

Reply to  completelyconquered
5 years ago

Why would Durden leave Cal? It would make no sense.

Reply to  Cynic
5 years ago

Exactly my point.

Reply to  Cynic
5 years ago

Why would Durden leave cal to take the Texas job? His wifes family lives in Austin. It is the only team that is better than his. If Texas offered him a huge contract, he would have to at least consider it.

Reply to  Cynic
5 years ago

With all the recent violence in Berkeley, any sane man would want to leave.

Tom from Chicago
5 years ago

Whitley’s IM will also be a solid contender for big points at NCAA’s too. I look forward to see what happens with Whitley in a new program.

ct swim fan
5 years ago

And the rich continue to get richer.

Go Bearcats
5 years ago

This may be a dumb question, but do Cal’s pro team and college team practice together? Is that allowed? Him and Prenot together could be sick

Reply to  Go Bearcats
5 years ago

yes they do ….most of the time

bobo gigi
5 years ago

This guy has everything to be a star. At Cal they know how to develop swimmers with potential into international stars. Can’t wait to see what Mr Whitley has in store. It will be interesting to see if they focus on breaststroke and only on breaststroke of if they try to develop his IM too.

Allison Hoffer
5 years ago

Congrats to Reece and the Whitley family! What a great addition to Cal!!! GO BEARS- GO BEARS – GO BEARS!!! ???

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

Read More »