Notes

The table above lists all recruits as of January 5, 2021. In addition to the Star Rating, we display the highest TRN, UTR, ITF junior, and WTT rankings for each player since January 1, 2020, and for international players we display the TRN ranking they would hold if eligible.

 

Also Receiving Votes

Other men's programs receiving votes are: Oklahoma (39), Arizona (37), Illinois (35), Georgia State (31), Auburn (17), Georgetown (16), Boston University (10), Middle Tennessee (10), Boston College (9), Chicago (8), Williams (7), ETSU (4), Swarthmore (3), Air Force (2), UC Santa Barbara (1).

 

Bullish on the Bears

Following a season cut short by COVID-19, UCLA enters the 2021 dual match season as the No. 18 program in the Oracle/ITA Rankings. The Bruins will face stiff competition as they try to capture their fifth consecutive Pac-12 Championship, but Head Coach Billy Martin has a knack for exceeding expectations.

Karl Lee has committed to UCLA
© Fritz Moore, Avos Studios

Those expectations may grow in the future - as UCLA’s recruiting class has been tabbed No. 1 for Fall 2021. Three highly-touted recruits have made commitments to the Bruins. Blue Chip Californians Karl Lee (Sacramento) and Spencer Johnson (Ladera) will be joined by Belgian standout Alexander Hoogmartens in Los Angeles.

Together, these three recruits earned 13 of 18 first-place votes and 445 out of 450 possible points from our panel. 2021 marks the second time that UCLA’s recruiting class has been ranked No. 1 - the first time since 2011.

Karl Lee has done it all at the highest levels of junior tennis - winning both USTA Gold Balls and ITF singles titles. Lee, who has been ranked in the Top 5 in his class throughout high school, posted six strong wins on the way to winning the singles title at the 2020 Newport Beach UTR event in September. In the final at Newport Beach, Lee defeated fellow recruit Spencer Johnson 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in a matchup of future Bruins.

Johnson, who reached the semifinals of the Eddie Herr International, plans to defer admission for two years while he goes on a Mormon Mission after graduation. Hoogmartens is the perhaps most decorated recruit of the three, ranked No. 43 in the ITF rankings with appearances in both the Australian and French Open junior events.

These highly-ranked players should help UCLA maintain its position as an NCAA Men’s Tennis powerhouse.

 

Give Me Five

Several new faces showed up near the top of our list - including the Alabama recruiting class at No. 2. Head Coach George Husack is bringing in a quartet of recruits who stand out as the highest-rated class in school history. Blue Chip senior Zachery Foster of San Antonio will be joined in Tuscaloosa by international recruits Enzo Aguiard (New Zealand), Filip Planinsek (Croatia), and German Samofalov (Ukraine). This group claimed 3 first-place votes from our panel on its way to the No. 2 position.

Checking in at No. 3 on our list is the University of Michigan. Blue Chip senior and Michigan high-school tennis legend William Cooksey from Grosse Pointe Shores headlines a Wolverines class that also features Patorn Hanchaikul (Thailand) and Alexander Lapentti (Ecuador). The Wolverines class garnered one first-place vote from the panel.

Rounding out our Top 5 are two rival programs from the Sunshine State. The Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles show up at No. 4 and 5 on our list, respectively, with FSU claiming a single first-place vote.

 

Southeastern Strength

The 25 classes in our rankings represent 9 different conferences, and no single conference dominates the rankings. However, the Southeastern Conference leads the way.

The SEC is represented by 5 ranked classes - three among the Top 10 and two in the Top 5. SEC programs in the rankings are Alabama (No. 2), Florida (4), Texas A&M (6), Tennessee (13), and Georgia (25). The ACC, Ivy League, and Pac-12 each have four ranked classes - with the ACC featuring three classes among the Top 10.

Other conferences with multiple classes on our list are the Big 12, Big 10, and WCC - with two ranked classes apiece.

 

Major Attraction

There are six so-called “power conferences” in college tennis - the Power 5 conferences that dominate college football and the Ivy League. Four recruiting classes on our list come from three other conferences outside the traditional powers: the WCC, AAC, and Southland.

The West Coast Conference features some strong tennis programs that often advance in the NCAA Tournament, and two WCC programs show up in our rankings - the San Diego Torreros (No. 9) and Pepperdine Waves (18).

The Central Florida Knights (T-13) represent the American Athletic Conference, while the Lamar Cardinals (24) hail from the Southland Conference.

 

Drop Shots

Scattershooting through the rankings …

  • Welcome Aboard: Two schools have their first-ever ranked recruiting classes in 2021 - both from the Lone Star State. The Texas Tech Red Raiders check in as the No. 11 class in college tennis, while the Lamar Cardinals are ranked 24.
  • Welcome Back: It’s been a while, Wolfpack. NC State Head Coach Kyle Spencer has attracted the No. 7 class to Raleigh. This year’s recruiting class is their first ranked class since 2011 - and only their second ranked class ever.
  • Better than Ever: Five programs have their highest-ranked classes in school history in 2021. Alabama (2), NC State (7), San Diego (9), Texas Tech (11), and Lamar (24) all have posted historic classes.
  • New Look: Of the 25 classes in the rankings, only 8 of them were ranked in 2020.
  • California on My Mind: Five programs in our rankings come from California - more than any other state. California schools include UCLA (1), San Diego (9), Pepperdine (18), Stanford (21), and California (23). Texas is next with four ranked classes.
 

Panelists for 2021

The 18 panelists for this voting period are shown below alphabetically. Please join us in thanking them for donating their time and talents to this effort.

  • Dede Allen - Contributor to TennisRecruiting.net, USTA Florida Section, consultant to Prince Sports
  • Scott Colson - Payers and Players Podcast
  • Sonny Dearth - Virginia Media, Daily Press newspaper and dailypress.com Web site in Newport News, Va.
  • Joey Dillon - TRN contributor, freelance writer
  • Tim Donovan - Donovan Tennis Strategies, DTS College Prospects Showcases
  • Sally Grabham - National Tournament Director, Southwest Junior Competition Committee, USTA Southwest Section President
  • Larry Haugness - USTA/Missouri Valley Executive Committee, Former ITF and USTA National Tournament Director, PTR National Tester, USPTA, Junior Davis Cup Coach
  • Granger Huntress - Texas College Tennis blog
  • Ernie Katko - Junior Development Coach in Chicago, USTA High Performance Coach
  • Bobby Knight - CollegeTennisToday.com
  • Dave “The Koz” Kozlowski - Inside Tennis With The Koz, The Tennis Channel
  • Patty Lambropoulos - Junior Tennis Coordinator, College Park Athletic Club, National/Sectional/Local Tournament Director, Chicago District Board of Director, USTA National Jr Competition Committee, Midwest Junior Competition Committee
  • Colette Lewis - ZooTennis.com
  • Rick Limpert - TRN contributor, freelance writer
  • Robert Sasseville - National Tournament Director, USTA Junior Competition Committee Member, USTA National Referee
  • Lisa Stone - ParentingAces.com
  • Clayton Taylor - Former ATP and Collegiate Coach. Former Director of U.S. International Hard Courts and National Opens
  • Julie Wrege - TRN principal, TennisInformation.com principal, former National Tournament Director, former USTA junior ranking chair and USTA Tennis Rules Committee member
 
 

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