Lia Neal Visits USC This Weekend

  35 Braden Keith | September 21st, 2012 | College, College Recruiting, Featured, News

The recruiting trips of Missy Franklin have been under a tight telescope this fall, but her fellow class of 2013 Olympian Lia Neal has flown relatively under-the-radar, but she begins her official trips this weekend in Southern California with Dave Salo’s USC Trojans.

Out of the rumored lead suitors for Neal’s services (USC, Cal, Texas, Stanford), the Trojans could probably most use the services of a sprinter of her caliber. Neal had bests of 22.5/48.1 as just a sophomore in high school in 2010, both of which would have placed her 2nd on the USC team last season. We don’t know exactly how fast she is at a peak in yards; though her improvement in yards times slowed last season, she was clearly focused on making the Olympic Team – which she did and with huge success, earning a bronze medal with a finals swim on the 400 free relay.

Of course, there’s not a team in the country that wouldn’t fall all over themselves to grab a swimmer of Neal’s talents, but a sprinter of that level is what this team was missing each of the last two seasons as they finished 3rd both years, respectively. This would also help the Trojans keep pace with their California counterparts in Berkeley, who have already earned a verbal from the #2 sprinter in the class, Kristen Vredeveld.

From Left to Right – Lia Neal, Ashley Brewer, Andrea Kropp, and fellow recruit Emily Cameron enjoy breakfast on Friday morning in LA. (Photo via Kropp’s Twitter account)

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35 Comments on "Lia Neal Visits USC This Weekend"


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Korn
3 years 8 months ago

Interesting that no UGA!?!

anonymous
3 years 8 months ago

I wonder how many scholarships UGA will have available for this recruiting class? There are 4 seniors this year, and I assume Allison Schmitt and Megan Romano are both on near to full scholarships given their caliber (and their out-of-state status). But there are 29 girls on UGA’s team this year! Wow! I assume most of them are only on partial athletic scholarships (or none!).

If Lia does take her 5th visit (assuming the above rumored schools are true), I’m sure it’ll be Georgia. Hopefully she and Missy make their decisions soon so that schools are able to make calculations to see how many scholarships are available to the rest of the recruits.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Teri is able to get both Lia and Missy (though that may not be fair to the rest of the schools…), yet I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lia at either USC or Stanford.

swimdawg
3 years 8 months ago

Lia is not looking at UGA. That’s what I have heard from her personally.

Coach
3 years 8 months ago

I think this is a great fit for Lia.

Nancy Drew
3 years 8 months ago

I think it’s great for Lia too – more power to her!

John Sampson
3 years 8 months ago

She did room with jessica hardy at the olympics, that could play as a huge push factor! Dave is perfect for lia. Theyd be great!!

John Sampson
3 years 8 months ago

Celina li, chelsea chenault, emily cameron and bonnie macdonald(AUS) are also in socal this weekend….thats more impressive than cals trip a couple weeks ago!! If they could get any of those recruits USC would be veeerry solid.
(facts from twitter accounts)

anonymous
3 years 8 months ago

how does recruiting work? are they offered their “scholarship amount” immediately following their recruiting trip? Given that you can only have 14 full scholarships at one time, which ideally would be equally allocated between all four years, how does a coach decide who gets a “full” scholarship and who gets partial–especially since not all of the top recruits have visited yet. (ie: Missy Franklin hasn’t had her trip yet–you’d think Dave Salo would save a scholarship for her just in case).

One good thing about USC is that it’s a private school with great financial aid (at least better than public), so the athletic scholarship can be used to cover anything uncovered by financial aid. Makes those 14 scholarships stretch quite a bit more.

bobo gigi
3 years 8 months ago

Why is Auburn never in the discussion for Lia Neal? It’s a place for sprinters.

Coach
3 years 8 months ago

I think you are confusing Auburn and SwimMac Elite.

bobo gigi
3 years 8 months ago

What is the link with SwimMAC? It’s a club. We talk about the future college swimming team for Lia Neal. I think Auburn would be a good choice. In the recent period I believe there have been some good sprinters with Frédérick Bousquet, Cesar Cielo and AVW. The coach Brett Hawke is a sprint specialist. It’s just an idea.

John Sampson
3 years 8 months ago

David marsh (coach of swimMAC) is the former coach of auburn in its prime and glory

bobo gigi
3 years 8 months ago

Yes I know but we talk here about the next college swimming team for Lia Neal. I know SwimMAC is a good place for sprinters but it’s a club.

Coach
3 years 8 months ago

Name one AU sprinter that stayed with AU to prepare for the Olympic games. The world class elite sprint coach is now in Charlotte.

bobo gigi
3 years 8 months ago

It’s surrealist. Isn’t Auburn a good place in NCAA to swim fast? Isn’t Brett Hawke a great sprint coach? For 10 years now I believe Auburn has produced many sprinters and their swimmers have won many races in the NCAA championships. That’s why I say Auburn could be a good choice for Lia Neal who is one of the best promising american talents.

Nancy Drew
3 years 8 months ago

Bobo – you are correct. Auburn would be a great place for Lia to look at.

Nigel Tufnel
3 years 8 months ago

Dangling preposition.

Nancy Drew
3 years 8 months ago

Thank you, Nigel. You are certainly correct. That was a good reminder for me, and I looked at this helpful website: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/ending-prepositions.aspx

FREEBEE
3 years 7 months ago

Auburn and especially UGA would be a great for Lia but she’s not going southern and/or rural (in comparison)–I think it is plain geography

John Sampson
3 years 7 months ago

agree, she is from new york, a HUGE city. she probably doesnt like the small town atmosphere and would prefer a larger city.

ilswimcoach
3 years 8 months ago

Olivia Smoliga was also a part of a recruiting trip to UGA a week or two ago and Texas before that.

WHOKNOWS
3 years 8 months ago

Stanford demolished USC last weekend in football.
USC plays Cal in a home game this weekend. I am sure the recruits will be going to the game.

don
3 years 8 months ago

How about the guys? Murphy, Conger,Malone, Pinion, where are they looking?

Nancy Drew
3 years 8 months ago

I know Pinion visited Tennessee. Things have been very quiet with the men.

John Sampson
3 years 7 months ago

Ive seen that ryan has visited cal, texas and auburn so far. and that i know of, reed malone has visited georgia and USC. no clue where conger has been.

duckduckgoose
3 years 7 months ago

Max Williamson has visited Virginia (his sister swims there), Cal, and Texas.

anonymous
3 years 8 months ago

I don’t personally know Lia, but I have a feeling that in addition to swimming, she also cares a lot about academics (same with Missy and Katie Ledecky…granted she still has a few years). This is why I think she’ll most likely end up at USC, Cal, or Stanford. I really wish the Ivy League will reverse their policy against offering full scholarships to athletes. Princeton and Penn both have great swim programs, but these elite athletes won’t go to these schools because it’s pretty much impossible to turn down a full scholarship. Additionally, it also limits their choices of choosing a school that excels in both athletics and swimming.

swimcat
3 years 8 months ago

Princeton and Penn? sure, great programs, but you cant exclude the Ivy-League champs from last year, Harvard.

duckduckgoose
3 years 8 months ago

I don’t understand why the Ivies aren’t better in swimming. They don’t offer scholarships, but recent court ruling have forced them to spend down their endowments, so their financial aid packages are now very generous. If a swimmer is academically inclined and not good enough to swim at a major power at or near full scholarship, why not use their swimming ability to be one of the 7-8% admitted to an excellent school with a reasonable financial aid package?

anonymous
3 years 8 months ago

Financial aid is certainly better, but tuition is also growing at extraordinary/ridiculous rates, so any added “financial aid” doesn’t really help the net amount needed to be paid. Also….and unfortunately realistically, most swimmers (at ivy leagues especially) come from upper middle class backgrounds—which essentially means little to no financial aid. $57,000+/year is quite a bit to swallow for even well-off families. On top of that the swimmers who do attend these schools very often place academics as their top priority–it’s why they chose to attend these schools and pay the tuition instead of accepting scholarship at “lesser” academic institutions. I know at least two swimmers who quit the team in order to focus on their academics/preparing for graduate/professional school.

Josh
3 years 8 months ago

I think Lia is going to end up being the biggest pick of all. Her frame now and the ability she has to put on more muscle is going to make her deadly in short course racing where walls are so much more important. I would bet she ends up at Stanford.

ArtVanDeLegh10
3 years 8 months ago

Lia is already “jacked” so I’m not sure why she would want to get even bigger. Based solely upon her body build, I’d say that she has the least room to improve of all the top recruits. Needless to say, she’s fast as can be, and I’m sure she’s going to improve and be one of the top sprint/mid freestylers the US has for awhile.

Craig H
3 years 8 months ago

She’s muscular, but she’s still not a big as a truly world-elite swimmer like Kromowidjojo. I’d say things have worked out pretty well for her when it comes to bulking up.

Coach
3 years 8 months ago

I agree with Art. I think most of our elite level female sprinters are much more slender (with incredible strength to weight ratios) than jacked.

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