March 3, 2017 – College Soccer News issues its initial rankings of the Top 15 Men's College Soccer Recruiting Classes in 2017 based on the information available at this time. The rich tend to get richer on the recruiting trail as the elite programs with a winning tradition always attract top talent. However there always are a few surprises as was the case again in 2017.
It should be noted that the landscape in terms of top classes may change somewhat in the coming months as additional information becomes available regarding who is going to go where. As a result College Soccer News will update its rankings in August based on the additional information that may be available at that time and will expand its rankings to include the top twenty-five classes in the country.
Jeremy Gunn brings in the best class in the country, and continues to reload the two time defending national champions. Even with the loss of Alex Rose to the University of North Carolina this class is as loaded as any class in the country, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
The number one class includes Carson Vom Steeg, Logan Panchot, Rhys De Sota, Charlie Wehan, Andrew Apahamian, Kei Tomozawa, Arda Bulut, Jack O,Brien, and Zachary Ryan.
Head Coach Carlos Somoano and UNC continue to reload to what is already one of the strongest teams in the country. Now add Johnny Nelson the best defender in the class, and Alex Rose who could end up being the best offensive player in the class and the rich just got richer. If all these players stay on track and end up on Carolina’s campus in the fall this could be a team that makes a run into December.
The number two class includes John Nelson, Alex Rose, Lucas Del Rosario, Raul Aguilera, Mark Salas, Alec Smir, and Charlie Forecast. .
Here is some news – Dane Brenner and Bobby Muuss can recruit. It isn’t often that you see a coach play his former team in the final four just after leaving his former program but that was the case when Wake Forest played Denver last year, and the country got to see first hand the type of talent Bobby Muuss brings where ever he goes. Wake Forest loses some key pieces from last year but continues to reload with another stellar class.
The number three class includes Brandon Servania, Omir Fernandez, Mark McKenzie, Machop Chol, Andrew Pannenberg, Landen Haig, Kyle McCurley, and Dominic Peters.
Recruiting Coordinator Kevin Robson made waves with this recruiting class for his head coach Todd Yeagley. The offensive fire power coming into Bloomington might be enough in the coming years to push IU back to national contention, if all the players stay. Rumor is Justin Renicks has European offers which could hurt IU if he forgoes college. Even if Rennicks leaves Dorsey, Warr and Toye are enough to keep IU as a top 10 recruiting class and keep Hosier nation believing in what Coach Yeagley is building.
The number four class consists of Griff Dorsey, Justin Rennicks, Thomas Warr, Mason Toye, Joacob Meier, Joseph Schmidt, Kyle Barks and Jacob Gruber.
It’s tough for anyone to argue that Nick Carlin-Voigt isn’t one of the best recruiters in the nation. From the talent level that left UCLA after this season, to what he has been able to bring in now as head coach at Portland, Voigt continues to attract the best of the best wherever he goes. Portland’s program which made the NCAA tournament from out of nowhere was one of the surprises of college soccer last season, and this class should help keep them as an NCAA tournament team.
The number five class consists of transfers Jason Romero and Jabari Newton and freshman Caua Soares, Jason Manning, Luca Defreitas-Hansen, Jake Kemhadjian, Kevein Capelao, Easton Embley, Iray Hamuli, Lucas Van Eynde.
Ian McIntyre continues to bring Syracuse to new levels every year he is at the helm. His recruiting classes over the last five years have proven to be winners all over the park. This year’s class is no different. Expect Sondre Norheim to be the name out of this class that sticks.
The number six class consists of Simon Triantafillou, Miles Franklyn, Tajon Buchanan, Lukas Rubio, Justin Earle, Dylan McDonald, Evans Peters, Matthew Pickard, Nikolas Steiner, and Sondre Norheim.
Ohio State struggled with injuries last year that crippled them in terms of results. Recruiting coordinator Ian Gordona was tasked to rebuild a program that lost 8 seniors and one player to the MLS early under head coach John Bluem, and from the looks of it that’s exactly what he did. Ohio State added depth in every position and might have the deepest core of goalies in the whole country. With one of the largest classes in the country OSU seemed to add depth everywhere needed to give them a better outlook for 2017.
The number seven class consists of Devyn Etling, David Abonce, Xavier Kennedy, Jared Anderson, Mitchell Bergman, Chase Carraher, Jacob Goyen, Gabe Harms, Will Hirschman, Joshua Jackson Ketchup, and Matt Kiley.
Georgetown had an off year by way of a normal Brian Wiese side, but considering all Georgetown lost to the MLS in 2016 it was to be expected. Georgetown’s 2017 class is loaded with players that will add depth and talent everywhere going forward.
The number eight class consists of Jacob Montes, Sean O'Hearn, Foster McCune, Jack Beer, Derek Dodson, Witt Conger, Rio Hope Gund, Ethan Koelher and Chris Le.
Few people can fault recruiting coordinator Tommy McMenemy for the talent that Michigan has brought in to Ann Arbor over the last five years under head coach Chaka Daley. Talent-wise Michigan has enough to be as good as any team in the country, but the results haven’t been there. Michigan’s 2017 class is athletic and gifted and could be enough to get them back into the NCAA tournament.
The number nine class includes Mohammed Zakyi, Umar Farouk Osman, Marc Ybarra, Jacob Nunner, Nash Pirie, Jackson Pirie, Jackson Ragen, Austin Swiech, and Carlos Tellez.
Some things never change, and for the University of Virginia, the one constant is top ten recruiting classes. Associate Head Coach Terry Boss brings in a wealth of talent for a program that didn’t lose much from last season’s NCAA tournament run under head coach George Gelnovatch.
The number ten class includes two big transfers to note in Cameron Harr from Marist and Prosper Figbe from USF to go along with freshman Justin Ingram, Connor Jones, Faris Abdi, Brad Kurtz, Spencer Patton and Ahdan Tait.
Like every year under Coach Kerr Duke will boast one of the most talented teams in the country, the question will be can the talent translate into results. Adding US National team goalie Will Pulisic from Borussia Dormund will certainly help. Kerr, lands the type of class that will add depth and talent all over the field.
The number eleven class includes Daniel Wright, Wilhelm Jacques, Will Pulisic, Aidan Foster, Stephen O'Connell and Michael Reis.
Recruiting Coordinator Brian Rowland has proven to be one of the better recruiters in the country, and the MLS producing factory that is the University of Maryland under coach Sasho Cirovski just continues to roll. Expect there to be one of two internationals still left out of the recruiting class.
The number twelve class includes Eric Matzelevich, Giovanni Vasquez, Matthew Di Rosa, Ben De Rosa, Paul Frendach, and Petr Janda.
North Carolina State
George Keifer’s new home comes with the notion of rebuilding. Keifer earned his stripes making South Florida a constant in the NCAA tournament. To help aid him in the rebuild his hire of Jeff Negalha to help with the recruiting is a very good start. N.C. State might still be two or three years away from being a tournament team, but this recruiting class will certainly help towards the future.
The number thirteen class includes Emanuel Perez, David Loera, McChlery Gourlay, David Norris, Caleb Martinex, and Jose Luis Morales.
Head Coach Jorge Salcedo saw the majority of his starting line-up go pro this off-season, many as underclassmen which is a reflection of the double-edge sword of having that type of talent. This recruiting class though small should improve as more players come across the board.
The number fourteen class includes transfer Alex Knox from Wake Forest and freshmen Brandon Terwege, Andrew Terwege, Andrew Paoli, Milan Iloski, and Eric Iloski.
UC Santa Barbara
Another program that will have to reload this off season is UCSB who saw a handful of players exit the school early for the pro game and other programs. A nine player recruiting class should help in the transition.
The number fifteen class includes transfers Hanno Antoni and Ricardo Montoy and freshman Kaya Fabbretti, Omari Fontes, Pablo Adames, Kavian Kashani, Rodney Michael, Giovanny Acosta, Rhys Pak, and Nico Sacco.