Recruiting Update: NCAA Men's Division I
15 Nov 2021
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com

U.S. Junior Amateur champion Nick Dunlap will play collegiately at Alabama
U.S. Junior Amateur champion Nick Dunlap will play collegiately at Alabama

It’s that time of year again when the top junior golfers in the nation and abroad put pen to paper to sign a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to officially commit to their university of choice.

Though most of the decisions have long been foregone conclusions, NLI Day is still very much a milestone for athletes, parents and coaches throughout the country who have put in long hours on the road in the attempt to attract the nation’s top junior players to their campuses.

It's a decision not to be taken lightly, as one swoop of the pen will determine the next steps in the development for the top junior players in the country who aspire to play professionally, or for most others, lay the groundwork to succeed in the career of their choice away from the golf course.

As expected, American Junior Golf Association Players of the Year, Nick Dunlap, who won the U.S. Junior Amateur at the Country Club of North Carolina in July, signed with Alabama, where he’ll be joined by the nation’s sixth-ranked junior player in Jonathan Griz of Hilton Head, SC.

Virginia landed two of the country’s top-five junior players in Benjamin James (No. 2) and Bryan Lee (5) while the nation’s third-ranked junior player, Caleb Surratt is headed to Tennessee. Luke Clanton, ranked fourth by Golfweek/Sagarin, and R&A Boys’ Amateur champion Jack Bigham headline an outstanding class at Florida State.

Top-ranked Oklahoma’s haul included three players ranked inside the top-55 nationally on the Junior Golf Scoreboard, including Jase Summy, Matthew Troutman and local product Jake Hopper from Norman, Okla.

Here’s a look at the recruiting classes of some of the top men’s programs in the nation.

While Dunlap will bring immediate star-power to Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide also added Jonathan Griz (Hilton Head, SC), the top-ranked junior player in the state of South Carolina and the sixth-ranked overall prospect in the nation. Griz won the North & South Junior in 2020 and a month later, the then 16-year-old became the youngest player to win the South Carolina Golf Association’s Amateur Championship.

Zachery Pollo (Rocklin, Calif.), Yannick Malik (Walldorf, Germany), and Filip Jakubcik (Holesov, Czech Republic) will join Jim Anderson’s program in Tucson next fall. Pollo most recently won the AJGA Junior Open at the Bridges last April and posted a top-5 finish at the AJGA Junior event at Peach Tree in July along with a top-10 showing at Torrey Pines in the IMG Academy Junior World Golf Championship. Malik was a member of the Junior German National Team that won the 2021 European Boys Team Championship while Jakubcik had three wins in 2021 at the German Boys Open, Czech International Amateur Championship and the AJGA Sean Foley Performance Junior Championship.

Arizona State
Luke Potter (Encinitas, Calif.) will join his close friend Preston Summerhays in Tempe. As a 16-year-old, Potter shot a final round 64 at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach to win the 2019 California High School State individual championship and a year later, defeated Summerhays, 8 and 6 to win the Maridoe Amateur.

Razorback head coach Brad McMakin added AJGA honorable mention All-American Kaelen Dulany (Keller, Texas) and Enrique Dimayuga (London, England) to his roster. Dulany was named the top high school golfer in the state of Texas by Golfweek/Sagarin in 2020 while Dimayuga is transferring to Fayetteville from Florida Atlantic, where he was a 2021 Conference USA first-team selection.

Reed Lotter (Savannah, Ga.), the 24th-ranked prospect in the Class of 2022 by Golfweek/Sagarin, is headed to The Plains. Lotter won the inaugural Sam Burns AJGA Classic last summer and was selected as a participant in the Club Car Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour.

The Golden Bears will be adding Daniel Heo (Cypress, Calif.) and Nathan Wang (Fremont, Calif.) to its 2022-23 roster. Heo, who is originally from South Korea, is ranked as the 17th top recruit in the state of California and has been ranked as high as 59th in the AJGA rankings. Wang, who attends Archbishop Mitty High School, is a three-time All-WCAL first team member who reached as high as 17th on the JGNC rankings in 2020.

Parker Bell (Tallahassee, Fla.), Toby Bishop (Wales), Will McGriff (Ponte Vedra, Fla.) and Will Poulter will have an immediate impact in Gainesville. Bishop is coached at the Claude Harmon III Performance Golf Academy in Dubai while McGriff passed on his senior year at Ponte Vedra High School in order to enroll at Florida in January.

Florida State
Luke Clanton (Hialeah, Fla.), Sam Kodak (Naples, Fla.) and Jack Bigham (St. Albans, England) make up a very strong class headed to Tallahassee in the fall. Clanton is the fourth-ranked junior player in the nation by Golfweek/Sagarin and was selected as a first-team AJGA Rolex All-American. Kodak was crowned as the 2020-2021 Southwest Florida Sports Boys Golfer of the Year. He is a Top 20 golfer in the talent-rich state of Florida, ranking 18th according to the Junior Golf Scoreboard rankings. Bigham won the R&A Boys Amateur Championship in the summer and also advanced to the quarterfinals of the English Amateur Championship, tying for fifth in the stroke-play portion. Among several other high finishes, Bigham placed third in the English U18 Championship 2021 (69-72-68-76).

Chris Haack landed AJGA honorable mention All-American Carter Loflin (Duluth, Ga.), Golfweeks/Sagrain’s 13th ranked boys’ junior player, to his tradition-rich program in Athens. Loflin won back-to-back Future Masters titles in 2020 and ’21 and had three top-10 AJGA finishes last summer.

Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets added a pair of top-100 junior players in Hiroshi Tai of Singapore by way of Windemere, Fla. and Aidan Tran of Fresno, Calif. as well as Atlanta native Brady Rackley. Tran, the 2021 California Interscholastic Central Section Champion, committed to Georgia Tech before he ever played a high school match.

Head coach Mike Small landed one of California’s top junior players in Ryan Voois (Ladera Ranch, Calif.). In 2020, Voois won the SCGA Junior Amateur Championship and also advanced to match play at the California Amateur at Torrey Pines. He also finished 25th at the IMG Junior World Championship.

Louisiana natives Luke Haskew (Baton Rouge) and Holden Webb (Shreveport) are staying close to home and will join the Tigers next fall. Haskew won the 2021 Louisiana State Amateur Championship while Webb earned seven top-10 finishes in AJGA tournaments over the last three years.

Akshay Anand (Redmond, Wash.), Daniel Svärd (Jarfalla, Sweden) and Ethan Tseng (Portland, Ore.) are headed to Evanston. The class includes the captain of the Swedish national team at the 2021 European Boys' Team Championship in Svärd, a former Washington state champion in Anand and 2021 U.S. Amateur qualifier Tseng.

Notre Dame
Calen Sanderson (Newtown, Pa.) and Nate Stevens (Northfield, Minn.) have inked with the Fighting Irish. Sanderson won the 2020 Pennsylvania Class 3A individual title by shooting a 67 in the one-round event, capping the performance with three straight birdies to claim the victory while Stevens won the 2021 Minnesota Class 3A individual championship by two strokes, earning the 2021 Star Tribune Metro Boys’ Golfer of the Year award.

The top-ranked Sooners will add Jake Hopper (Norman, Okla.), Jase Summy (Keller, Texas) and Matthew Troutman (Louisville, Ky.) to their roster in the fall. All three golfers are inside the top 55 nationally in the 2022 class per Junior Golf Scoreboard. Summy leads the way as the No. 8 recruit in the country, followed by Troutman at No. 34 and Hopper, who is ranked 53rd. Summy will arrive in Norman as one of the nation's most-prized golfers. Ranked 11th in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, the Keller, Texas product is a two-time Rolex All-American and was a member of the 2020 Wyndham Cup Team, which features the top-20 junior players in the United States annually. Troutman is a two-time AJGA All-American from Louisville, Ken., and is the champion of the 2021 Justin Thomas Junior Championship. He won the Kentucky high school state championship in 2021 and is a Rolex All-American honorable mention. Hopper continues a long line of local players that elect to play for the Crimson and Cream. A product of Norman North High School, Hopper owns six AJGA top-10 finishes, won the Oklahoma Junior Amateur in 2019 and tallied a runner-up finish at the same event.

Oklahoma State
The Cowboys announced just one signee, John Wild (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), a two-time Illinois All-State selection at Glenbard West High School who won the AJGA Stan Utley and Mid-America Youth Golf Foundation Junior Championship. He also logged top-10 finishes at the Boy's Junior PGA Championship and the Illinois State Junior Amateur Championship, finishing ninth at both events.

Ole Miss
Thomas Fischer (Birmingham, Ala.), Patton Samuels (Clarksville, Tenn.) and Cameron Tankersley (Dickson, Tenn.) are headed to Oxford to play for head coach Chris Malloy. Tankersley, the No. 1 recruit coming out of the state of Tennessee in the class of 2022 made the cut at the Simmons Bank Open on the Korn Ferry Tour at the age of just 17 years old. He also finished in the top-five in the Tennessee Amateur. The Rebels were also able to land Tennessee's No. 2 ranked recruit of 2022 in Samuels, who has won two of the last three TSSAA Division II-A high school state championships in Tennessee in his sophomore and senior seasons. Samuels currently sits ranked No. 57 in the Rolex American Junior Golf Association Rankings. Fischer, the No. 2 ranked recruit coming out of Alabama in 2022 behind Nick Dunlap, has won a pair of Alabama state championships in his career at Mountain Brook High School.

Reigning NCAA champion Pepperdine added Brady Siravo (Sacramento, Calif.) to its roster to help offset heavy graduation losses of Joe Highsmith, Derek Hitchner and Joey Vrzich.

A pair of international golfers, Daniel Bullen (Scotland) and Jay Gould-Healy (Singapore) are headed to Eugene. Bullen is currently the 21st-ranked junior golfer in Europe by European Golf Rankings while Gould-Healy is currently enrolled at United World College of Southeast Asia in Singapore but has roots that trace back to both California and Ireland. He won the 2021 San Jose City Championship and claimed the 2020 Singapore Junior Masters tournament last December.

South Carolina
Zach Adams (Charleston, S.C.), Walker Jennings (Greenville, S.C.) and Luke Sullivan (Columbia, S.C.) have signed with South Carolina. Adams is ranked fifth in the latest SCJGA player rankings while Sullivan and Jennings are ranked 13th and 16th, respectively.

Sean-Karl Dobson (Austin, Texas) and Dean Greyserman (Boca Raton, Fla.) are headed to the Farm to join Conrad Ray’s tradition-rich program at Stanford. Dobson had two top-five AJGA finishes including a third-place showing at the Rolex Tournament of Champions while Greyserman won the 2020 Florida Amateur championship and the 2021 New Jersey State Junior title.

The Volunteers landed one of the top recruits in the nation in Caleb Surrat (Indian Trail, NC) along with Bruce Murphy (Atlanta, Ga.) and Evan Woosley-Reed (Shelbyville, Tenn). Surratt, the No. 2 ranked recruit in the nation by Junior Golf Scoreboard, posted four impressive wins over the summer at the Junior PGA Championship, the Western Junior Championship, the Bobby Chapman Invitational and the 2021 Terra Cotta Amateur. Ranked No. 19 in the nation in the Rolex AJGA 2022 rankings as well as No. 21 in the Golfweek 2022 recruiting class rankings, Murphy was named a 2021 Rolex Junior Second Team All-American. Woosley-Reed will arrive in Knoxville with three straight TSSAA Division I Class A state titles to his name in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Faced with the prospect of losing seniors Cole Hammer, Parker and Pierceson Coody along with Robert Patton, the Longhorns are setting the foundation for the future with the addition of Christian Maas (Pretoria, South Africa), Jacob Sosa (Austin, Texas) and Keaton Vo (Austin, Texas) to next year’s roster. Maas is the No. 1-ranked junior in South Africa and currently sits at No. 41 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). Sosa is tabbed the No. 1 recruit in the state of Texas and No. 10 nationally by the AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) and is the No. 3 recruit in the state and No. 14 nationally by Golfweek. Vo, a three-time Rolex Junior All-American, is the No. 3 recruit in the state of Texas by the AJGA and No. 4 in the state by Golfweek.

Texas A&M
Jaime Montojo (Madrid, Spain) and Joe Stover (Dallas, Texas) have signed with the Aggies. Montojo currently ranks No. 5 in Europe for players under the age of 17 and ranks No. 368 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Stover, who ranks No. 126 by Junior Golf Scoreboard, helped lead Highland Park to its 22nd UIL State championship in 2021 and was a member of the second-team all-district.

Texas Tech
The Red Raiders landed the No. 1 recruit in the state of Texas in Matthew Comegys (Van Alstyne, Texas). Comegys advanced to the round of 16 at the 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur and is currently at No. 13 in the Golfweek rankings for his class. He finished ninth at the 2021 Texas Amateur Championship and has runner-up finishes this year at the Gateway First Bank Tulsa Junior and Westrock Coffee Junior Championship.

Kyle An (Aliso Viejo, Calif.), Lincoln Melcher (Burbank, Calif.) and Matthew Yamin (Miami Beach, Fla.) are headed to Westwood. An, the 40th-ranked amateur by the AJGA, won two tournament titles in 2021 at the Toyota Tour Cup and the Ping An Bank Open Championship while Melcher earned a tournament title at the Toyota Tour Cup in 2021 and recorded four Top 10 finishes in 2020. Yamin recorded two Top 20 finishes in 2021 at the Under Armour Alison Lee Championship (T-10th) and Sung Hyun Park Junior Championship (T-12th).

Mahanth Chirravuri (Chandler, Ariz.), a 2020 Rolex/AJGA All-American honorable mention selection, is the top-rated recruit in the state of Arizona. He climbed as high as No. 11 in the Rolex/AJGA rankings and boasts seven top 5 finishes in AJGA events, including a trio of runner-up efforts at the PING Heather Farr Classic, the AJGA Junior at Superstition and the AJGA Longbow. He also has 10 wins on the Junior Golf Association of Arizona Tour.

Wells Williams (West Point, Miss.) and John Broderick (Wellesley, Mass.) are headed to Nashville to join head coach Scott Limbaugh and the Commodores. Williams is ranked as the 10th top junior player in the country by Golfweek/Sagarin and is the top-ranked golfer in his home state of Mississippi. A USA Junior Ryder Cup Team member and AJGA First Team All-American, Williams has also been named an AJGA All-American three times and thrice won the Mississippi Junior Amateur championship. Broderick is the top-ranked player out of the state of Massachusetts. He was named the Massachusetts Junior Player of the Year and won the New England Amateur Championship.

Virginia is touting his recruiting class as the best in school history and for good reason. The Cavaliers inked two of the nation’s top junior players in Benjamin James (Milford, Conn.) and Bryan Lee (Fairfax, Va.). James, the No. 2 ranked player in the Golfweek Junior Boys rankings behind Nick Dunlap, won the PING Invitational, the Junior PLAYERS Championship, the Team TaylorMade Invitational and the Scott Robertson Memorial. He was the runner-up at the Boys Junior PGA Championship and the Polo Golf Junior Classic. He is a three-time Rolex Junior All-American and a member of the victorious 2021 Wyndham Cup East Team. Lee tied for second at the Boys Junior PGA Championships was third at the Junior PLAYERS Championships and seventh at the Scott Robertson Memorial. He tied for eighth at the AJGA Simplify Boys Championship. He is ranked the No. 5 player in the Golfweek Junior Boys Rankings.

Wake Forest
Andrew McLauchlan (Neptune Beach, Fla.) and Boyd Owens (Baton Rouge, La.) will join the Demon Deacons in the fall. McLauchlan tied for second at the Rome Junior Classic in April while Owens had a pair of top-five AJGA finishes at the Jack Burke Jr. Invitational (t-4th) and Jones Cup Junior Invitational (2nd).

Washington men's golf coach Alan Murray signed two prospects from California in Patrick Hong (Los Angeles) and Joshua Koo (Cerritos, Calif.). Ko won the Toyota Tour Golf Cup at Palm Desert Resort in April 2021. He shot a career-best 10-under 62 in the final round to win the tournament by six strokes at 13-under. Hong won the 2019 Adidas AJGA Junior All-Star in Portland and recently won the TTC Sydnee Michaels Classic at Fallbrook (Oct. 9-10).

Special thanks to the athletic communication departments at the various schools for contributing to this report.

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