Recruiting 101 with KU Head Coach Mark Francis.

As GSI Sports players enter junior high and high school, our most commonly asked questions aren’t about how to play soccer, they’re about how to get noticed by a college coach. So we asked Mark Francis, The University of Kansas Women’s Soccer Head Coach, some of our most asked questions to help high school aged players who have aspirations to play college soccer get noticed.

GSI: How many players are on your current squad?
MF: The team has 27 right now. We usually try and stay in the 25-27 range.

GSI: How many players do you usually recruit in each class?
MF: This can change depending how many players are graduating, typically five to eight a year.

GSI: Who usually handles your recruiting, you or your assistants?
MF: All of us, but I will make all the final decisions.

GSI: When communicating with a recruit do you prefer to talk to the player or the parents?
MF: The player.  (Coach Francis was quick with this answer, no hesitation!)

GSI: What expenses does a scholarship cover?
MF: Tuition, fees, books and room, plus all meals at Kansas are provided to all athletes who are on the roster.

GSI: Can a scholarship be reduced or canceled if a player under performs or gets injured?
MF: No.  NCAA rules prohibit coaches from changing a four year scholarship.  Some recruits might sign a one, two, or three year scholarship.

GSI: How common are full rides?
MF: Very uncommon.  It would need to be a national team caliber player to receive a full ride at Kansas

GSI: What does a verbal commitment mean?
MF: It is a commitment made by the player and the college program based on the honor system.

GSI: When can you contact recruits?
MF: September 1 of the athlete’s junior year but we can answer incoming phone calls at any time.

GSI: What are unofficial visits and what are their benefits?
MF: Official visits are paid for. Unofficial visits are not paid for. Unofficial visits are used more in the recruiting process as they can happen way earlier than official visits.

GSI: If you were going to give an athlete one recruiting tip what would it be?
MF: Be exceptional at something.

So takeaways for you. Talk to the coaches at the colleges you want to attend. Show off your skills and be exceptional at something. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next player to call Mark Francis, coach!

What are you doing to get noticed by college coaches and recruiters? Share your tips with us in the comments below!