The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Missy Franklin has said that three of her college visits are locked in, with trips to USC, Cal, and Georgia scheduled. She could still plan more trips after she gets through the Olympics.
The notable absence from that list is Stanford; Franklin had originally included Stanford in the list when last she spoke on the topic of college swimming, but has changed her mind now that Lea Maurer has resigned as their head coach.
Cal and Georgia have been on Franklin’s list for a while. Cal coach Teri McKeever is also the Olympic Team head coach, so she has had the opportunity to work with McKeever already. Franklin has developed strong bonds to the Georgia swimmers after she traveled to Europe last fall for the FINA World Cup series with several Bulldogs, including NBAC’s Chase Kalisz and Allison Schmitt. While on that trip, Franklin broke her first World Record in the 200 short course meters backstroke.
USC publicly is a bit of a newcomer in the competition, though many insiders have long speculated that Dave Salo’s sprint-based program would be in the hunt. This would be a bit of a change from her training with Todd Schmitz, where Franklin is used to less sprinting-focus in practice.
Though every team in the country is likely to give Franklin as much or as little scholarship money as she wants, USC and Georgia will be in need more of a swimmer of Franklin’s backstroke skills than will the loaded Cal Bears. Of course, Franklin is a good enough freestyler (aka one of the top 5-10 in the world) to fill an important role on any team.
Franklin has already turned down tens-of-thousands of dollars in prize money, and potentially millions more in endorsements, to retain her amateur status and swim in college.