Ranking The 2022 Men’s NCAA Recruiting Classes: #5-8

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We continue our 2022 recruiting series with a team-by-team look at the best recruiting classes entering the NCAA next season. The classes below are projected freshmen for the 2022-2023 season.

A few important notes on our rankings:

  • The rankings listed are based on our Class of 2022 Re-Rank. “HM” refers to our honorable mentions and “BOTR” refers to our best of the rest section for top-tier recruits.
  • Like most of our rankings, these placements are subjective. We base our team ranks on a number of factors: prospects’ incoming times are by far the main factor, but we also consider potential upside in the class, class size, relay impact and team needs filled. Greater weight is placed on known success in short course yards, so foreign swimmers are slightly devalued based on the difficulty in converting long course times to short course production.
  • Transfers are included.
  • For the full list of all verbally committed athletes, click here. A big thank you to SwimSwam’s own Anne Lepesant for compiling that index – without it, rankings like these would be far less comprehensive.
  • Some teams had not released a finalized 2022-23 team roster at the time these articles were published, meaning it’s possible we missed some names. Let us know in the comments below.

Best NCAA Swimming & Diving Recruiting Classes: Men’s Class of 2022

Previously ranked:

  • #16: Princeton Tigers
  • #15: Cal Golden Bears
  • #14: Georgia Bulldogs
  • #13: Kentucky Wildcats
  • #12: Wisconsin Badgers
  • #11: Michigan Wolverines
  • #10: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  • #9: Tennessee Volunteers

#8: Texas Longhorns

  • Top-tier additions: #12 Charlie Crosby (MN – free/back), HM Alec Enyeart (MO – distance), BOTR Ryan Branon (MD – fly), Alec Filipovich (IL – free/IM), Holden Smith (KY – fly)
  • The rest: Alexander Turney (UT – breast), Andrew Zettle (TX – free), Manning Haskal (CA – free), Spencer Aurnou-Rhees (OH – IM)

Texas has a strong recruiting class, although not to the level we’ve seen from the Longhorns recently. They beefed up the butterfly group with two standouts. Holden Smith took a gap year and thus isn’t in our top 20 ranks, although he’s definitely got the times of a top-20 recruit. He’s 46.8/1:44.2 in the butterfly events, plus a 1:46.1 in the 200 IM that gives him a solid third NCAA event.

The other flyer is 47.5/1:44.0 flyer Ryan Brannon, who was in our “best of the rest” recruits just outside the top 20 nationally.

Texas got #12-ranked recruit Charlie Crosby out of Minnesota. Crosby is a great sprint freestyler and backstroker – he’s 19.5 out of high school in the 50 free to go along with 44.1 speed in the 100 free. He’s also 46.4 in the 100 back and should be a weapon on the front of both medley relays at some point in his career.

It’s hard to categorize Alec Filipovic, who is 20.0/43.6 in sprint free, but also a 1:46.1 IMer, a 47.2 flyer and a 47.7 backstroker. Spencer Aurnou-Rhees also fits in that category, with 1:46.0/3:51 IM times, but also 20.5/44.2/1:36.9 free speed.

Texas also adds to its distance group with 14:56/4:20/1:36.9 freestyler Alec Enyeart out of Missouri.

#7: Virginia Tech H2Okies

  • Top-tier additions: #5 Carl Bloebaum (OH – escape), #10 Landon Gentry (VA – escape), BOTR Will Hayon (WI – escape)
  • The rest: Aiken Do (VA – free), Ethan Maloney (FL – breast), Miguel Rojas Newman (Mexico – free), Mitchell Stroud (NC – free), Tanish George (UAE – free)

Just call it Butterfly U. After the successes of All-Americans Youssef Ramadan and Antani Ivanov, Virginia Tech adds three more elite butterflyers in this class, including the top 100 and 200 flyer in the recruiting class, at least among American prospects.

Carl Bloebaum was the #5 overall recruit in our ranks, carrying the fastest times of any prospect in the 100 fly (45.6) and 200 fly (1:42.9). He had a huge senior year and carries a ton of momentum into his college career. Bloebaum will also likely swim the 100 back, where he is 47.3 out of high school.

Landon Gentry is a 46.4/1:43.0 butterflyer, but also a very strong 200 IMer (1:46.7). Then there’s Will Hayona 46.9/1:47.0 flyer who made our “best of the rest” list.

There’s a lot of developing sprint free talent in this class, too. Gentry is 20.2/44.8 in freestyle, and will have support from Aiken Do (20.4/44.8), Ethan Maloney (20.7/45.6), Miguel Rojas Newman (20.4/45.0) and Mitchell Stroud (20.9/45.3).

#6: Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia cracks our top 6 with a versatile class mostly built around 200s and longer races.

Tim Connery is a huge get, a transfer out of Texas who has three years of eligibility remaining. As a freshman for the Longhorns, he was an NCAA qualifier, and his career bests of 1:43.0 in the 200 IM and 45.56 in the 100 fly make him a legitimate scoring threat in his first year for UVA. Connery is also 1:34.1 in the 200 free and 42.6 in the 100 free, making him a big relay weapon.

Sebastian Sergile is another 200 specialist. He’s 1:34.0 in the 200 free and 1:44.0 in the 200 fly, specializing in that distance but also swimming up to 4:22 in the 500 free. As the distances go up, he hands the baton to Braeden Haughey, a 15:18 miler who is also 4:25 in the 500 free, 1:43.8 in the 200 back and 3:51 in the 400 IM.

Kamal Muhammad joins Virginia after taking a gap year after wrapping up his high school career. He’s a 1:45.6 IMer and 46.6 flyer who can also contribute to free relays with times of 20.0 and 43.4 in the 50 and 100 frees.

#5: Arizona State Sun Devils

  • Top-tier additions: Hubert Kos (Hungary – IM), HM Owen McDonald (GA – IM), BOTR Jonny Kulow (WY – free), Zalan Sarkany (Hungary – distance), Daniel Matheson (USC transfer – distance), Max McCusker (FSU transfer – free /escape)
  • The rest: Andrew Dobrzanski (MI – breast), Cale Martter (GA – breast/IM), Evan Nail (AZ – IM), Jack Wadsworth (Ithaca transfer – IM), Jake Mason (TN – back), Lane Stallworth (TX – diving) , Matt Duren (VA – back), Parker Reynolds (CA – distance), Ryan King (AZ – distance)

Arizona State got arguably the best recruit in this entire class in Hungarian IMer Hubert Kos. The superstar international has incredible long course meters best times of 1:56.9 and 4:13.5 in the IMs, plus 51.3 and 1:57.2 in the butterflys.

In NCAA times, those convert roughly to 1:41.3 and 3:40.3 in the short course yards IMs and 44.7 and 1:42.3 in the short course butterflys. He’s a likely early NCAA scorer in both IMs and one of the butterflys, not to mention a key relay contributor. In comparison to the best American recruits joining the NCAA this year, Kos’s long course times are much better than that of #1 overall recruit Baylor Nelson, who has been 1:59.1 and 4:16.4 in the long course IMs.

The Sun Devils also got a transfer from Pac-12 rival USC: Daniel Matheson was an NCAA qualifier last year and brings in times of 4:14.8 in the 500 free and 3:44.7 in the 400 IM, plus a 14:51 mile. He was just a freshman for the Trojans last year and has three years of eligibility remaining.

Another transfer who will surely have an impact this season is Max McCusker, who comes over from Florida State. McCusker was an ACC ‘B’ finalist in the 50 free, 100 free and 100 fly last season, owning respective bests of 19.2, 42.5 and 45.7. He’ll push for a spot on the sprint relays and will give the team an individual scoring boost at the Pac-12s.

Owen McDonald is a super-versatile athlete who will probably be a collegiate IMer. He’s 1:46.1/3:47.0 in the IMs, and would probably carry even more NCAA value if swimmers weren’t limited to three NCAA events. He can also swim backstroke (47.2/1:42.6), butterfly (47.6/1:46.3), and freestyle (20.3/43.7/1:35.3).

Throw in 20.0/43.6/1:36.3 freestyle Jonny Kulow and Hungarian distance swimmer Zalan Sarkany and this is one of the best recruiting classes in the nation, just a tick below three absolute powerhouse classes at the top. (Sarkany is 15:20 in the long course 1500 and 4:21 in the long course 400 IM, converting roughly to 14:58 and 3:46.7 in yards, respectively).

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