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Recruiting Feature
Top Men's Classes - 2014 Winter Rankings
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This year's senior class has been busy. As of today, more than 850 seniors in the Class of 2014 have reported commitments to college tennis programs. Many of them signed NLIs back in November, and dozens more are making verbal commitments every week.

Things will continue to develop, but the end of January is a great time to step back and see where things stand. We invited our panel of voters - national tournament directors, members of the media, and other experts - to give us their takes on the top recruiting classes in college tennis.

Today, January 27, 2014, we take a look at the top men's classes. The Tennis Recruiting Network and Solfire are proud to present the Winter Recruiting Class Rankings for the Class of 2014.

 

Media Poll

As we have for the past nine years, Tennis Recruiting and Solfire have 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, presented by Solfire. Point totals are shown in the right-most column - with the number of first-place votes in parentheses. All commitments reported through January 4, 2014 are included.

 
Rank School Rating  Name State Points 
1 Stanford Thomas Fawcett IL 560 (13)
    David Hsu CA
    David Wilczynski PA
2 South Carolina Gabriel Friedrich BRA 536 (7)
    Thomas Mayronne LA
    Harrison O'Keefe VA
    Wood Benton SC
3 Kentucky Trey Yates GA 481 (1)
    G. Lopez Villasenor MEX
    William Bushamuka NJ
    Jake Stefanik FL
    Gus Benson KY
4 Duke Martin Redlicki IL 477
    Nicolas Alvarez PER
5 Alabama Daniel Kerznerman NY 470
    Korey Lovett NC
    Sam Edwards GA
    Langford Hills GA
6 Miami (FL) Piotr Lomacki POL 451 (2)
    Christian Langmo FL
    Nile Clark PA
    Kian McLean MD
    Alexander Fahnehjelm SWE
    Andrew Harrington MD
7 Washington Mitch Stewart WA 396
    Jake Douglas CA
8 California William Griffith CA 370
    J. T. Nishimura CA
9 Dartmouth Ciro Riccardi CA 353
    Aman Agarwal IND
    Maximilian Fliegner MI
10 Vanderbilt Baker Newman FL 316
    Daniel Valent SUI
    Tate Allwardt FL
11 Michigan Cameron Norrie NZL 313
    Runhao Hua CHN
12 Georgia Tech Christopher Eubanks GA 305
    Michael Kay GA
    Daniel Yun GA
13 Harvard Grant Solomon TX 290
    Kenneth Tao CA
    Jean Thirouin TX
14 Florida Chase Perez-Blanco FL 285
    Jordan Belga FL
15 Virginia Henrik Wiersholm WA 248
16 Illinois Aron Hiltzik IL 229
    Toshiki Matsuya WA
17 BYU Shane Monroe NJ 225
    Victor Brown CA
    Samuel Tullis UT
    David Ball CA
18 Northwestern Logan Staggs CA 181
19 Tulsa Spencer Papa OK 173
20 Penn Nicolas Podesta NJ 149
    Joshua Pompan CA
    Nicholai Westergaard NY
    Gabriel Rapoport CA
21 Princeton Diego Vives CHI 146
    Luke Gamble ID
    Benjamin Tso MA
22 TCU Trevor Johnson NV 87
23 Texas A&M A.J. Catanzariti PA 69
24 Columbia Daniel Grunberger NY 59
    Taiyo Hamanaka NY
    Alexander Saltiel FL
25 Georgia Peter Bertran GA 50
    Andy Martinez GA
 

Also Receiving Votes

Other men's programs receiving votes in our rankings are: Yale (43 points), UCLA (30), Texas (28), LSU (28), Chicago (22), Mississippi (22), UNC Wilmington (15), Iowa (14), Fresno State (11), Navy (9), Memphis (8), Ohio State (8), Minnesota (6), Clemson (4), Louisville (4), Notre Dame (3), and Emory (1).

 

Cardinal Rising

Our panel had a tough time with the No. 1 spot this year, with four different programs appearing at the top of at least one list. But one program stood out, and 13 of the 23 first-place votes were cast for the Stanford Cardinal. Stanford's three-man class earned 560 out of a possible 575 points to lay claim to the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.

This Stanford recruiting class includes Thomas Fawcett, a Blue Chip senior who is our top-ranked recruit from the state of Illinois and No. 6 nationally; 17-year-old Blue Chip David Hsu, a Californian who has been ranked in the Top 10 of the Class of 2014 nationally throughout his junior career; and David Wilczynski, the No. 1 recruit out of Pennsylvania who has earned Blue Chip status for the current rating period. This trio is no stranger to big-time competition, with the group earning forty combined singles wins in the four 2013 USTA National Championship tournaments.

Head Coach John Whitlinger, now entering his tenth year leading the Cardinal, looks forward to the arrival of these recruits in 2014-15.

"We are very excited with this recruiting class. They are tremendous tennis players, and even better people. They are hard workers on and off the court. We are looking forward to having them be a part of the Stanford family."

The 2014 recruiting class will be joining a Cardinal team that should be dangerous this spring. Last year's 2012-13 squad, which finished the year at No. 42 in the rankings, featured a singles lineup that included five freshmen and sophomores. The Stanford faithful hope that John Morrissey and company can build on their experience from last year to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament this May.

 

Competition at the Top

The Cardinal recruiting class staved off challenges from a number of other programs, including the South Carolina Gamecocks. South Carolina was a close second in our rankings, earning 536 points and seven first-place votes. We ran a profile article of Coach Josh Goffi's class back during Signing Week that featured his three American recruits: Thomas Mayronne, Harrison O'Keefe, and Wood Benton. Since then, Goffi added Gabriel Friedrich - a recruit from Brazil who has appeared in the Top 30 of the ITF rankings - to form the highest-ranked class in school history.

The Kentucky Wildcats check in at No. 3 on our rankings with 481 points and garnering one first-place vote. With a class that includes Blue Chip senior Trey Yates, international star Jerry Lopez of Mexico, 5-Star recruits William Bushamuka and Jake Stefanik, and top in-state recruit Gus Benson, Head Coach Cedric Kauffmann is adding much-needed depth next year to a roster that includes six seniors in 2013-14.

Rounding out the Top 5 are the Duke Blue Devils (No. 4) and Alabama Crimson Tide (5). Also worth mentioning is that Miami, which appears at No. 6 in our rankings, received two first-place votes from our panel.

 

King SEC

The NCAA Division I Championships head back to Athens, Ga., this year - to the home courts of the SEC heavyweight Georgia Bulldogs. The Southeastern Conference is also flexing its muscle in these recruiting class rankings with three programs appearing in the Top 5 and seven programs in the rankings overall - the most of any conference.

As we mentioned above, South Carolina leads the way for the SEC with the No. 2 overall class. Other schools in the Top 10 are Kentucky (No. 3), Alabama (5), and Vanderbilt (10).

Florida (14), Texas A&M (23), and Georgia (25) round out the SEC entries in our rankings.

 

Conference Call

Twenty-two of the programs in the list come from five different conferences: the SEC, Ivy League, ACC, Big Ten, and PAC-12. Each of those conferences have three or more classes in our rankings.

Two schools in the rankings come from outside the tennis power conferences: the BYU Cougars and Tulsa Golden Hurricane. BYU and Tulsa show up at No. 17 and No. 19 in these recruiting class rankings, respectively. Last year, BYU's season ended in the final of the WCC tournament, while Tulsa advanced to the second round of the NCAA regional in Waco. Both programs are looking to build on their successes this season, and their cupboards are now stocked for the future.
 

Drop Shots

Scattershooting through the rankings...

  • Welcome Aboard: Two programs are making their first-ever appearances in the recruiting class rankings - BYU (No. 17) and Tulsa (19).

  • Welcome Back: Dartmouth (No. 9) is coming off the longest hiatus of any program in the rankings. The Big Green last appeared at No. 14 in our innaugural recruiting class rankings way back in 2006. Congratulations to Coach Chris Drake on netting the highest-rated recruiting class in school history.

  • Best Ever: Speaking of highest ratings, seven other programs join Dartmouth with historic recruiting hauls. South Carolina (No. 2), Kentucky (3), Alabama (5), Miami (6), Washington (7), BYU (17) and Tulsa (19) all have their highest-ever rated classes.

  • Staying Home: Five programs in the rankings have made up their recruiting classes with exclusively in-state players: California (No. 8), Georgia Tech (12), Florida (14), Tulsa (19), and Georgia (25). Both programs from the Peach State made this list.

  • Building Momentum: South Carolina (No. 2) is rolling. The Gamecocks never appeared in our rankings before 2011, but Coach Goffi's recruiting classes have appeared in the rankings three of the past four years.

  • Streaking Again: Only one program has appeared in all nine of our rankings - the Virginia Cavaliers, who check in at No. 15 on our list.

  • Top Dog: Quick - who's the highest-ranked senior boy who has committed to college? If you guessed Californian William Griffith, you would be correct. Griffith has committed to the University of California.
 

Panelists for January 2014

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

  • Sonny Dearth, Daily Press newspaper and dailypress.com Web site in Newport News, Va.
  • Jean Desdunes, Senior Director, USTA Junior and Collegiate Competition
  • 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, Central Arizona Delegate
  • Larry Haugness, USTA/Missouri Valley Board of Directors, National Tournament Director, PTR National Tester, USPTA, Junior Davis Cup Coach
  • Granger Huntress, Texas College Tennis blog
  • Larry Jackson, Director, Dayton Center Courts and Tennis Academy, National Tournament Director
  • Randy Jenks, USPTA National, National Tournament Director, The Firehouse $10k Tournament Director
  • Ali Jones, Contributor to TennisRecruiting.net, USTA/Texas Junior Tennis Blog
  • Ernie Katko, Junior Development Coach in Chicago, USTA High Performance Coach, USPTA, PTR, Member of USTA/Midwest Coaches Commission
  • 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
  • Tony Minnis, Former head coach, LSU women's tennis, host of Inside College Tennis with Tony Minnis
  • Phil Parrish, Tennis Director, The Longfellow Club, National Tournament Director, Former College Coach
  • Robert Sasseville, National Tournament Director, USTA National Referee
  • Kathy Sell Smith, Former member of USTA Collegiate Varsity Committee, Former head coach of Princeton women's tennis, private coach
  • Lisa Stone, ParentingAces.com
  • Jeffrey Szekely, Former National Tournament Director, USTA Clay Courts
  • Clayton Taylor, Former ATP and Collegiate Coach. Former Director of U.S. International Hard Courts and National Opens.
  • Timothy Thompson, Director of Tennis at Bainbridge Tennis, Tournament Director.
  • Julie Wrege, TennisInformation.com, TennisRecruiting.net, former National Tournament Director, former USTA ranking chair
  • Evan Zeder, Sales and Sponsorship Manager at Athletic DNA
  • John Ziegler, President at Solfire
 

Ladies Next Week

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

Don't see your school? Fear not. These 2014 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 featuring schools outside the high major conferences.

 
 

About Solfire

Solfire is proud to sponsor Recruiting Class Rankings at TennisRecruiting.net.

Solfire embodies the powerful force within us to pursue our dreams. By merging original designs with high-performance materials, each product becomes Art In Motion.

We begin in the artist studio, then we travel the world to find the best materials. In each step of the development process we apply the most advanced technology, equipment and techniques. Our design lab in Brooklyn, N.Y. allows us to immerse ourselves in every detail, from initial inspiration to the last stitch.

We are a diverse crew of creative individuals who are passionate about testing our limits, exploring the world and designing great clothes.

Connect with Solfire on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube - or on their website.

 

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