Last year’s USC men’s recruiting class was a late-breaker: most of their big additions didn’t come until after the NCAA Championships.
This year, they’ve begun to roll much earlier, including their latest verbal commitment from Oregonian Patrick Mulcare, according to OregonLive.com.
Mulcare reported that his top three were USC, Auburn, amd Michigan, but that USC “seemed like the perfect fit.”
The versatile Tualatin Hills Swim Club swimmer was a member of the American delegation for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, where he swam best times in the 50 (26.86), 100 (55.86), and 200 (1:59.65) long course meter backstrokes, plus the 100 (51.54) and 200 (1:50.57) meter freestyles. He was also the runner-up at the Junior National Championships in the 200 backstroke.
Mulcare is fantastic in a 50 meter pool, but fans of college swimming will be most interested in his yards results, which live up to his long course standards.
His best times:
- 100 yard free: 44.72
- 200 yard free: 1:36.64
- 100 yard back: 47.69
- 200 yard back: 1:42.99
- 200 yard breaststroke: 2:02.79
- 100 yard fly: 49.96
- 200 yard IM: 1:46.51
- 400 yard IM: 3:48.48
Individually, Mulcare has NCAA scoring potential in at least three events (200 free, 200 back, 200 IM) as a freshman, with several more in play for later in his career (100 free, 100 back, 400 IM).
For USC’s relays, this is a very significant addition as well. For starters, they’re the defending NCAA Champions in the 800 free relay, have a good chance of repeating in 2015, but will then need to reload.
In the 400 medley relay, he’ll be able to take Luca Spinazzola’s spot on the medley relays. Spinazzola, a senior, will graduate after this year.
This means that in the 2015-2016 season, between Mulcare and incoming freshman Ralf Tribuntsov, USC will have plenty of backstroke options. This will allow them to push sophomore Dylan Carter to the anchor leg, and leave USC with at least two more seasons of outstanding medley relays.
The other piece to that long-term medley puzzle is, of course, Mulcare’s fellow Junior National Teamer Carsten Vissering. Vissering is one of the two best breaststrokers in the class of 2014, along with Billy Monjay.
Not only has USC now landed two of the top 6 recruits in the country, USC head coach Dave Salo and his staff have also hit their two biggest needs for the fall. They could use another freestyler or two and a long-term butterflier to really feel confident about their future going forward, but at this point, USC is free to go after the “best available” swimmers, regardless of specialty.