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Recruiting Feature
Top Men's Classes - 2017 Winter Rankings

The spring college tennis season is about to begin in earnest, and there are many exciting things going on this year. In addition to the ITA Kick-Off Weekend that just wrapped up around the country this past weekend, the ITA Women's and Men's National Indoors are coming up over the next couple of weeks at Yale and Virginia, respectively. And that says nothing about the launch of College MatchDay at the USTA National Campus and the upcoming USTA NCAA Division I College Poll.

Amidst all of this excitement, late January is also the time we check in on college recruiting for next season. Many high school seniors signed their NLIs in November - and more are making verbal commitments every week as we move towards the spring. In all, there are more than 850 seniors (boys, girls) on our commitment lists.

With so many players committing, this is a great time to check in on the various programs. Who has the best recruiting class? And how is your favorite school doing on the recruiting trail? We invited our panel of voters - national tournament directors, members of the media, and other experts - to give us their take on the top recruiting classes in college tennis.

Today, January 30, 2017, the Tennis Recruiting Network takes a look at the top men's classes. We present the Winter Recruiting Class Rankings for the Class of 2017.


Media Poll

As we have for the past twelve years, Tennis Recruiting has enlisted the aid of junior tennis experts from around the country to vote for the top classes. We list the panelists for this voting period below.

Each of our panelists submitted his/her take on the Top 25 recruiting classes. Schools received 25 points for each first-place vote, 24 points for each second-place vote, on down to 1 point for each 25th-place vote. The panelists did not consider incoming transfer students in their voting - and they also did not consider players starting college this January.


Top 25 Men's Recruiting Classes (through January 4)

Here are the Winter Rankings of the top men's college recruiting classes. Point totals are shown in the right-most column - with the number of first-place votes in parentheses. All commitments reported through January 4, 2017 are included.

Rank School Rating  Name State Points
1 California (8) Jacob Brumm CA 461
    Ben Draper GBR
    Paul Barretto CA
    Jack Molloy GBR
    Jackson Suh WA
2 Florida (8) Oliver Crawford SC 460
    Duarte Vale POR
    Andres Andrade FL
3 UCLA (3) Kenneth Connor Hance CA 433
    Keegan Smith CA
    Bryce Pereira CA
    Lucas Bellamy CA
4 Illinois Alexander Brown IA 405
    Mac Kiger NY
    Caleb Chakravarthi CA
    Fletcher Scott KS
5 Columbia Austen Huang CA 388
    Jack Mingjie Lin CAN
    Jason Lui WA
6 Notre Dame William Howells FL 377
    Richard Ciamarra CT
    Tristan McCormick PA
7 Virginia Kyrylo Tsygura MD 362
    Matthew Lord CT
    Max Kurzban KS
    Jefferson Dockter GA
8 Stanford Timothy Sah CA 313
    Sam Turchetta NY
9 Princeton Ryan Seggerman CA 306
    Damian Rodriguez GBR
    Kabir Sarita NJ
10 Penn Aleks Huryn GA 274
    Dmitry Shatalin RUS
    Jeff Zucker NJ
    R.J. Sands CA
11 Miami (FL) Bojan Jankulovski MKD 243
    Adria Soriano ESP
    Tatsuki Shimamoto JPN
    Jake Kuhlman ND
12 Wake Forest Yuval Solomon NY 242
    Brady Draheim NE
    Morgan Dill FL
    Ryan Mueller  
13 Oklahoma Jake Van Emburgh FL 222
    James Davis GBR
    Stefano Tsorotiotis IL
14 Ohio State John McNally OH 215
15 Clemson Chambers Easterling SC 204
    Beau Pelletier SC
    Carlos Kelaidis SUI
    Wesley Quattlebaum SC
16 Dartmouth John Speicher NY 171
    Peter Conklin CT
    Casey Ross CO
17 Iowa Joe Tyler GBR 170
    Will Davies GBR
    Nikita Snezhko MN
18 Florida Atlantic Jason Legall FL 146
    Ignacio Garcia PR
    Marwan Abaza FL
19 Oklahoma State Luke Hammond GBR 130
    Thomas Unia FRA
20 Michigan State Davis Wong MI 122
    Josh Mukherjee MI
    John Carlin FL
    Jack Winkler MI
21 Rice Jacob Eskeland NOR 112
    Mohamed Abdel-Aziz GBR
22 Georgetown Connor Lee CA 79
    Mark Militzer SC
    Luke Ross PA
    Charlie Sharton MA
23 Vanderbilt Maxwell Freeman MA 66
    Adam Sraberg CA
    George Harwell TN
24 Yale Cody Lin CA 52
    Ming Chun Alan Sou HKG
25 Furman Ivan Mitric CAN 35
    Drew Singerman KY

Also Receiving Votes

Other men's programs receiving votes are: Duke (31 points), Amherst (25), San Diego (17), Virginia Tech (16), Chicago (14), Stetson (14), Denver (12), Florida State (12), UC Davis (11), Northwestern (9), St. Mary's (CA) (8), Arizona (7), Boston University (5), Liberty (3), Indiana (2), Georgia Tech (1).


Bears Get Top Spot

Things don't get any tighter at the top of the rankings, where California and Florida each have powerhouse classes. The Golden Bears and Gators both have two Blue Chip recruits for 2017 - as well as strong international players who should make immediate impacts.

California looks to improve on its 2016 Final Four performance
courtesy, California Athletics
Our panel had a tough time sorting it all out. The two programs evenly split 16 of the 19 first place votes, with each class earning the top spot on eight ballots. In the end, only one point separated the two recruiting classes, with California edging the Gators 461 points to 460.

Cal coach Peter Wright has his Bears pointing in the right direction. After a Final Four appearance at the NCAA Championships this past May, California was picked fifth in the ITA/Oracle Preseason Rankings earlier this month. With three seniors on the 2016-17 roster, Wright has bolstered his team for years to come with a five-man class that includes Californians Paul Barretto and Jacob Brumm, Jackson Suh of Washington State, and Ben Draper and Jack Molloy from the UK. This quintet of athletes has achieved success on big-time stages, including deep runs at the USTA Hardcourt and Claycourt Nationals, Easter Bowl, and Pan American ITF - as well as appearances in the Wimbledon Junior Championships.

"I'm excited to have a great signing class for men's tennis," said Coach Wright in a school release. "Everyone on the team and the coaching staff welcome Jacob, Paul, Jackson, Ben and Jack to the Cal tennis family."


Give Me Five

The Florida Gators have been steadily improving under Coach Bryan Shelton, reaching the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament last season before running into eventual national champion Virginia. The Gators start the year ranked No. 11 nationally in the ITA pre-season rankings, and they look to build even higher next season with a strong class. Blue Chip seniors Oliver Crawford and Andres Andrade are joined by Duarte Vale of Portugal to form the No. 2 recruiting class in college tennis.

The UCLA Bruins hold down the No. 3 spot in our poll, earning the remaining three first-place votes. The all-California class of Connor Hance, Keegan Smith, Bryce Pereira, and Lucas Bellamy - all of who signed with Billy Martin's squad in November - has a slew of USTA gold, silver, and bronze balls to their names.

Rounding out the Top Five are the Illinois Fighting Illini (No. 4) and Columbia Lions (5).


PAC-12, Ivies Lead the Way

The PAC-12 and Ivy League have the most impressive showings in the rankings. Both conferences have three classes in our Top 10.

The PAC-12 is strong at the top, led by California (No. 1) and UCLA (3). They are joined by the Stanford Cardinal at No. 8.

The Ivy League is represented in the Top 10 by the Columbia Lions (5), Princeton Tigers (9), and Penn Quakers (10). Those programs are joined by Ivy programs Dartmouth (16) and Yale (24) in the Top 25.

Conference USA is the only conference outside of the six tennis power conferences to have multiple classes in these recruiting rankings. Our (owl-loving) voters were impressed with both the Florida Atlantic Owls (18) and Rice Owls (21).

Other notable conferences are the ACC and Big 10 with five and four ranked classes, respectively.


Quick Hits

Scattershooting across the rankings...

  • Welcome Aboard: Five of these programs are making their first appearances in our recruiting class rankings. A big welcome to the Iowa Hawkeyes (No. 17), Oklahoma State Cowboys (19), Michigan State Spartans (20), Georgetown Hoyas (22), and Furman Paladins (25).

  • Welcome Back: Florida Atlantic returns to our rankings for the first time since 2006. The Owls are listed at No. 18 in our 2017 class rankings.

  • Powering Up: As we mentioned above, Florida Atlantic and Rice (No. 21) represent Conference USA - a conference outside of the six tennis power conferences. Other programs outside the power conferences are Georgetown (22) and Furman (25).

  • Banner Year: In addition to the five newcomers, six programs have earned their highest recruiting class ranking in the twelve-year history of our poll. Cal takes the top spot for the first time in school history, and they are joined with historically strong classes from Illinois (No. 4), Columbia (5), Penn (10), Clemson (15), and Florida Atlantic (18).

  • Back For More: This is Stanford's eleventh straight appearance in our recruiting class rankings - most among all programs. The Cardinal have had a ranked recruiting class every year except 2006 - the first year of our rankings. Close on their heels, this is the tenth year in the class rankings for Virginia and Vanderbilt.

  • Roaring Lions: Head Coach Bid Goswami has gotten a lot of well-deserved attention for the job he is doing at Columbia. The Lion recruiting classes in 2015 and 2016 - ranked No. 10 and No. 9, respectively - are the only Top 10 recruiting classes in school history. His 2017 class - currently ranked No. 5 - continues the strong run of recruiting in New York City.


Panelists for January 2017

The 19 panelists for this voting period are shown below alphabetically. We sincerely appreciate them donating their time and talents to this effort. Please join us in thanking them when you see them out and about in the tennis world.

  • Brian Cory, Director of Tennis at Carmel Valley Athletic Club (CVAC), USPTA
  • Sonny Dearth, Daily Press newspaper and dailypress.com Web site in Newport News, Va.
  • Tim Donovan, Donovan Tennis Strategies, DTS College Prospects Showcases
  • Sally Grabham, National Tournament Director, USTA Winter Nationals, National Junior Competition Committee, Southwest Junior Competition Committee, Southwest Section Executive Committee
  • Larry Haugness, USTA/Missouri Valley Executive Committee, Former ITF and USTA National Tournament Director, PTR National Tester, USPTA, Junior Davis Cup Coach
  • Marty Hennessy, Director of Tennis at The Stirling Club, USPTA professional, National Tournament Director
  • Granger Huntress, Texas College Tennis blog
  • Larry Jackson, Director, Dayton Center Courts and Tennis Academy, National Tournament Director
  • Ernie Katko, Junior Development Coach in Chicago, USTA High Performance Coach, USTA/Midwest High Performance Committee
  • Bobby Knight, College Tennis Today
  • Patty Lambropoulos, Junior Tennis Coordinator, College Park Athletic Club, National Tournament Director, Chicago District Board of Director and Endorser, Midwest Junior Competion Committee
  • Colette Lewis, ZooTennis.com
  • Rick Limpert, Tennis Recruiting contributor, freelance writer
  • Tony Minnis, Former head coach, LSU women's tennis, principal at Advantage Tennis Recruiting, host of College Sports Weekly on Fox College Sports
  • Phil Parrish, Tennis Director, The Longfellow Club, National Tournament Director, Former College Coach
  • Robert Sasseville, National Tournament Director, USTA Junior Competition Committee Member, USTA National Referee
  • Lisa Stone, ParentingAces.com
  • Jeffrey Szekely, Former National Tournament Director, USTA Clay Courts
  • Julie Wrege, TennisInformation.com, TennisRecruiting.net, former National Tournament Director, former USTA junior ranking chair and USTA Tennis Rules Committee member

Up Next... The Ladies

These men's rankings are the first of our Winter Rankings. Next Monday, the Tennis Recruiting Network continues its rankings with the Top 25 Women's Recruiting Classes.

Don't see your school? These 2017 Winter Rankings are only preliminary. We will update them again in May after the spring signing period begins. During that time, we will also post rankings focused on schools outside the power conferences.


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More Recruiting Class Rankings

Top Women's Classes - 2017 Winter Rankings
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Colette Lewis has covered topflight junior events as a freelance journalist for over a decade. Read her weekly column, follow her on Twitter, and and find more of her daily commentary at ZooTennis.

Page updated on Saturday, April 01, 2017
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