Basketball and Olympic sports athletes across the U.S. began faxing their national letters of intent Wednesday, as the NCAA opened its early signing period, and California may be the beneficiary of an upcoming surge of highly touted prospective collegiate athletes this year.
College athletics recruiting network Next College Student Athlete calculated “power” rankings for more than 1,000 college athletic programs across the U.S., and the California Golden Bears ranked eighth overall—topping heavyweights like the Michigan Wolverines (No. 16), Florida Gators (No. 24) and the Texas Longhorns (No. 48).
California’s top 10 finish reflects strong interest among the more than 2 million student-athletes in the NCSA recruiting network.
Just one day into the NCAA early signing period, the Golden Bears have already brought in some of the nation’s top athletes to Berkeley, Calif.
Top Drawer Soccer recently ranked the incoming class of Cal’s women’s soccer team No. 8 in the nation, the second top 10 recruiting class for the Golden Bears in the last three seasons. The incoming class is headlined by goalkeeper Angelina Anderson, who is currently competing in the 2018 Under-17 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Uruguay as the captain of the Under-17 United States Women’s National Team.
Next College Student Athlete considered the search and “favorite” activity of current high school student-athletes, a school’s U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges ranking and graduation rates from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. Each factor was weighted equally to calculate a university’s final standing.
Across all sports, NCSA’s top 10 college athletic programs are:
- Duke Blue Devils
- Stanford Cardinal
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish
- Harvard Crimson
- Princeton Tigers
- UCLA Bruins
- USC Trojans
- California Golden Bears
- Columbia Lions
- Penn Quakers
Stunningly four universities from the Ivy League conference are featured. Unlike other power rankings, the NCSA Power Rankings does not rank schools on athletic performance, an NCSA spokeswoman explained.
“Being a collegiate student-athlete is about more than sports, it is also about getting a degree that will set you up for success later in life,” Next College Student Athlete President Lisa Strasman said in a prepared statement.