By The Class: Top 5 DI Men's Freshmen Men To Watch For

Welcome to the first installment of our newest series, By The Class. In this series, we will analyze the top five Division I swimmers -- both men and women -- to watch out for in the upcoming 2017-2018 NCAA season.

While there are certain sure bets, things don't always shake out in March as we expect them to in September.

Scouting The Field

2017-18 Top 5 Freshmen -- Men

1.) Cal's Quadruplets

Ryan Hoffer Daniel Carr Bryce Mefford Sean Grieshop
50 Free: 18.71 100 Back: 46.74 100 Back: 47.38 500 Free: 4:15.53
100 Free: 41.23 200 Back: 1:42.71 200 Back: 1:42.18 1650 Free: 14:45.40
200 Free: 1:35.27 200 IM: 1:45.94 100 Fly: 46.80 200 IM: 1:46.58
50 Back: 21.04 200 IM: 1:45.46 400 IM: 3:44.30
100 Back: 45.58
100 Fly: 45.46
This has to be one of the greatest recruiting classes of all time. Cal-Berkeley coaches Dave Durden and Yuri Suguiyama worked some serious magic this group together. While Ryan Hoffer has yet to maximize his potential in the long course pool relative to his performances in the short course pool, his value in the NCAA system in invaluable. Does that remind you of anyone else early in their career? *Cough cough* Tom Shields *cough cough.* As a matter of fact, Hoffer could prove to be even more valuable than Shields based purely on his 50/100 times. Not only is Hoffer an immediate threat individually, but he could also quite literally be plugged into any of Cal's relays and be the difference-maker.

Backstroke/IM studs Daniel Carr and Bryce Mefford will together look to plug the massive hole left by graduating senior Ryan Murphy. Carr and Mefford are not on that level; however, they pack a pretty strong 1-2 punch. Sean Grieshop is also another to watch out for this season. Grieshop will no doubt do some serious damage in the 500 free and 400 IM. The question remains: will he swim the 1650 free -- which he hasn't gone a best time in since 2014 -- or opt for a push in one of the 200s of stroke?


2.) Grant House -- Arizona State

Grant House
100 Free: 43.90
200 Free: 1:34.52
500 Free: 4:19.15
200 Breast: 1:58.24
200 IM: 1:46.35
Head coach Bob Bowman continues to build a special program in Tempe piece by piece. Cincinnati, Ohio's Grant House became an integral piece to the foundation when he made his commitment to the Sun Devils. House will fit in beautifully with teammate Cameron Craig -- a rising star in the 100/200 freestyle events. As you can see above, House boasts some seriously impressive best times that will make him an immediate scoring threat at NCAAs in his freshman season.

3.) Nick Albiero -- Louisville

Nick Albiero
100 Back: 47.23
200 Back: 1:45.15
100 Fly: 46.29
200 Fly: 1:43.53
200 IM: 1:45.63
400 IM: 3:49.81
When Arthur Albiero arrived in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2003 to become the head coach of the Cardinals, his son, Nick Albiero​, was merely 4 years old. Now, the incoming freshman is Louisville's premier recruit on the men's side. The younger Albiero, who has been training with Cardinal Aquatics, is an extremely versatile butterflier and backstroker who can throw in an elite 200 IM as well. Training alongside Zach Harting during fly sets will surely push Albiero into scoring position at NCAAs next season. Albiero immediately becomes the top dog in the backstroke events for UofL as well, as Grigory Tarasevich and Aaron Greene exhausted their eligibility.

4.) Texas Two-Step

Austin Katz Sam Pomajevich
200 Free: 1:36.07 200 Free: 1:35.58
100 Back: 47.06 100 Fly: 47.49
200 Back: 1:41.48 200 Fly: 1:41.88
If you have potential in the 200 freestyle, how could you not want to swim for Eddie Reese and the Texas Longhorns? Well, Austin Katz and Sam Pomajevich have just that -- but they have way more than that as well. Katz is a 47/1:41 backstroker, and Pomajevich is a 47/1:41 butterflier. With Jack Conger out of the picture -- although he will still be training in Austin -- these two young Horns will have some serious holes to fill. The scary thing is, they won't even be the fastest on the team in their specialty events. Katz has John Shebat -- a 44.3/137 backstroker -- to contend with, while Pomajevich has Joseph Schooling -- a 43.7/1:37 butterflier. Impressively enough, Pomajevich's 1:41.88 in the 200 fly would have scored top 16 at NCAAs last season and only 0.5 of a second from making the championship final.

5.) Michael Taylor -- Florida

Michael Taylor
100 Back: 45.33
200 Back: 1:41.05
200 Free: 1:35.16
Since dropping a 45.3 and 1:41.0 in the 100 and 200 backstroke, respectively, this spring, Michael Taylor has remained relatively quiet. As a matter of fact, records indicate he has not competed since May at the arena Pro Swim Series in Atlanta. Regardless, Taylor is in a prime position to take off under head coach Gregg Troy at the University of Florida. It took a 45.87 and 1:40.62 to score top 16 in the 100 and 200 back, respectively, at NCAAs last season. So if Taylor can make a push he will have a strong chance to make a couple of A-finals for the Gators this March. Not to mention, he has an opportunity to be on Florida's 800 freestyle relay as well -- making him highly valuable.


The best swimming coverage. Straight to your inbox.

Don't miss breaking news, feature stories, event updates, and more. Sign up for the FloSwimming mailing list today.

How To Avoid The Post-Swimming Plump

Four hours of cardio per day, intense drylands sessions, all with trainers and coaches watching over you making sure you’re in the best shape of your life for years and then—poof!—you’re on your own. It’s easy to let yourself slip into the post-swimming plump phase, but for those of you who want to stay in solid shape, we’ve got a few tips for you.

Should Swimmers Be Subject To Underwater Officiating?

Officiating has been a growing topic in the sport over the past 10 years as rule changes and advancements in underwater video capabilities have continued. Being disqualified as a kid in a summer league meet is one of the most soul-crushing things a young swimmer can face, but we’re not here to talk about the summer league days… We’re here to talk about the fastest one percent of the sport.

The 200 Freestyle Relay Should Be In The Olympics

For a long time I’ve wondered why one specific event is not contested at the Olympic Games, or at the international level in general. I’m not a huge fan of comparing swimming events to track events, because I don’t believe they perfectly overlap, but in this case I just cant ignore it. 

Swimmers Are Nerds

If you haven’t realized it by now, swimmers are some of the nerdiest athletes in the world of sports. From the sets we do, the counting, the times we go, etc., etc., there’s a lot that goes into becoming a high-level swimmer, and a good portion of it comes down to being just plain nerdy. We’re going to break down the nerdiness of our sport into three categories, counting, data and more data.

Preview | Big Ten Men's Championship

What to know before the 2019 Big Ten Men's Swimming & Diving Championship

Preview | 2019 Big 12 Championship

When: Feb. 27 - Mar. 02, 2019

Preview | Big Ten Women's Championship

When: Feb. 20 - 23, 2019

FloSports to Live Stream 2019 Big 12 Winter and Spring Championships

AUSTIN, Texas — February 18, 2019 — Today, FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, and the Big 12 Conference announced that fans can access live and on-demand coverage of the Swimming and Diving Championship on, the Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championship on, the Wrestling Championship on, and the Softball Championship on

Swammers: When Should You Get Back In?

At the end of your career, it makes sense to step away from the pool for a bit. If you come back too quickly you might find yourself with your toes curled over the edge staring at the water for a good 10-15 minutes. You might build up the courage to jump back in with no expectations and swim a 25 just get out, like I did, or maybe you’ll just hit the hot tub. 

COMING SOON: Live Events Like Never Before

Prepare for a new immersive live experience that will transform the way you watch swimming. You shared your live stream dreams with us and we're making them all come true with fan-driven features that you've been craving.