The torch has been passed back to Pauley Pavilion, where UCLA has reassumed the throne in the annual VolleyballMag.com men’s top recruiting class ranking after a two-year absence.
UCLA boasts four 2022 VolleyballMag.com Boys Fab 50 selections and has two of the Class of 2022’s top recruits in Arizona product Zach Rama (No. 2) and standout setter Andrew Rowan (No. 3). One voter labeled both Rama and Rowan as two future national-team players.
Previously, the Bruins logged top recruiting classes for a three-run from 2017-2019 and then took runner-up honors in 2020 and 2021. In the last seven years, UCLA has registered four No. 1 classes, a pair of No. 2s and a third-place class (2016).
UCLA and coach John Speraw racked up all but one first-place vote this time around.
In the 2022 voting, there was a clear-cut delineation between the high upper tier and the rest of the top 10. These annual recruiting class rankings are voted on by a panel of NCAA Division I-II coaches.
USC, under the direction of Jeff Nygaard, takes runner-up honors this year after a No. 9-ranked recruiting class in 2021 and earning honorable-mention honors in 2020. This is the Trojans’ top class since a No. 3 ranking in 2017. This year’s USC class is highlighted by outside hitter Dillon Klein, who was tabbed the top recruit in the class of 2022 by the Boys Fab 50 voting panel.
Long Beach State, which reached the national championship match last spring, continues its strong run of top classes, checking in this time at No. 3. In addition to wins in 2021 and 2020, the 49ers had the No. 3-ranked class in 2019 and the No. 5-ranked class in 2017. Three Long Beach State recruits made this year’s VBM Boys Fab 50 list in 2022, while a fourth, Ryan Peluso, was a VBM boys high school All-American first-team pick.
The rest of the top five this year features Stanford at No. 4 and Ohio State in the No. 5 position. This is Stanford’s highest ranking since a runner-up finish in 2019. The Cardinal had the top recruiting class in 2016 and was also runner-up in 2017.
Ohio State was fourth last year, eighth in 2020 and 10th in 2019. It’s the Buckeyes’ highest finish since a No. 4-ranked class in 2016.
Pepperdine has been a constant with No. 3 (2018) No. 4 (2019), No. 7 (2020) and No. 5 (2021). Princeton had two recent strong classes at No. 5 (2020) and No. 6 (2021), while national-champion Hawai’i checked in with classes at No. 7 (2018), No. 8 (2019), No. 9…