IN ASSESSING the value of a recruiting class we weigh multiple factors, the most important of which is whether or not an athlete is likely to have any kind of immediate impact at the collegiate level. For those facing an adaptation to bigger implements, the conversion often takes time. Our ratings take into consideration new U.S. high school pickups, foreign recruits and both JC and 4-year transfers, but do not include earlier recruits coming back from a redshirt year or other kind of ineligibility.
Here’s the 2019–20 year’s men’s First 5, with major credentials:
New head coach JJ Clark will have plenty of frosh talent to work with, headed by a trio of All-Americas in top-rated vaulter Max Manson (17-5½), No. 5 vaulter Jacob Herrscher (17-0) and 2-time 2M choice Devin Hart (8:53.36, also a Foot Locker XC champ). Mile/2M aces abound as the Cardinal added Liam Anderson (4:10.41, 8:54.98); Canadian Evan Burke (8:54.59), Charles Hicks (4:07.74, 8:52.70), Ryan Oosting (4:03.70, 8:53.46) and Matt Rizzo (1:50.93, 4:09.12). Dorien Simon (10.37) and Karson Lippert (46.91) will provide speed, while Sam Liokumovich (65-2¼, 188-11) bolstered the throws corps.
Petros Kyprianou scored the biggest single prize by landing AOY Matthew Boling (10.11A/9.98w, 20.31A, 46.15/44.5rA, 26-3½), who rated as the No. 1 All-Am in the 100, 200 & long jump after scoring in the 400 and LJ as a junior. The Bulldogs also bulked up nicely in the vault, adding All-Am Haze Farmer (17-7) and Collin Lark (16-6).
A trio of All-America picks have joined Robert Johnson in Eugene, javelinist Ty Hampton (222-11), halfmiler Cole Hocker (1:50.64, plus 4:08.44 and 8:59.13) and ’18 halfmiler Luis Peralta (1:49.10). The sprint corps has been bolstered by Jamaican Xavier Nairne (10.36/10.30w, 20.65) and JC transfer Gaston Bouchereau (10.29/10.15w, 20.64). The JC side also provided jumps strength in Isaiah Griffith (25-3½/26-11¼Aw, 54-8¾A/55-1A). An NCAA All-America 2 years ago, steepler Noah Affolder (8:40.36) has transferred in from Syracuse.
4. Texas A&M
More speed was the name of the game for Pat Henry as he picked up a pair of All-Ams in the form of Lance Broome (20.69A, also 10.40/10.27w) and Ryan Martin (10.34/10.26w). But even faster than that pair is JC transfer Emmanuel Yeboah of Ghana (10.16/10.06w, 20.93A). The hurdles were bumped up nicely by Andre Turay (13.58) and transfer Thomas Burns (50.12). Also transferring in is long jumper Lagarious McQuirter (25-5¼/25-8w).
Do-everything Grant Holloway turned pro early, but Kurt Powdar (13.27 for No. 5 on the all-time HS list) will ease some of the hurdle pain after 2 years as a prep A-A (No. 1 as a junior). Mike Holloway also picked up a pair of A-A half lappers in Joe Fahnbulleh from ’18 (20.69/20.67w, also 10.35) and Cameron Miller (20.55/20.52w, also 10.44/10.35w). They’ll be backed up by Tyler Davis 10.49/10.46w, 21.08). The jump acquisitions feature Jalen Chance (24-4¼). □