Welcome back to another edition of Which State Produces the Best Player at Each Position! The last article, we saw, Florida, the first of the big 3, (Texas, California, and Florida) finally get a win! So, does Florida repeat like Urban Meyer at the aforementioned state’s university, or completely fall apart like Urban Meyer at the aforementioned state’s NFL team? Keep on a-readin’ and you’ll find out!
To add numerical value to this argument, I pulled recruiting information using 247 Sports recruit ranking and Sports Reference from the last 5 years that have had draft eligible players (2015-2019). The top 50 players per position were added to the database based on the state in which they played High School football and a value was added to that state based off the number of stars they had (5 Stars = 5pts, 1 Star = 1 pt.). Then for the draft, I added ALL players drafted for that specific position and points were given based on which round they were drafted (1st Rd = 7 points ,7th Rd = 1pt).
– Athletes from Washington D.C. were put into the Virginia group.
– Athletes that may have transferred to a sports specialized school such as IMG, were included in the state of the specialized school. Too many transfers occur and it’s virtually impossible to determine why the transfer occurred.
As usual, before the numbers are broken down, I’m going to make some old-fashioned assumptions. One of the most common assumptions I make is that whatever states produced the most players at a similar position, will be the same states to produce players at the position I’m writing about. With that being said, the most similar position to DB is WR, (a DB is a WR who can’t catch right?) so it’d be a safe bet to assume the states would be the same – coastal areas, predominately in the southeast. To be a defensive back, you need agility, quick hips, and the ability to make split second decisions – think Deon Sanders. What made Prime (Deon Sanders) so good wasn’t his athleticism or size, it was his hips and decision making. These same skills translate to the baseball field which makes complete sense why he was able to be a professional athlete in baseball as well as football (I don’t think people give enough credit for the ability to do this). Deon Sanders grew up in Florida, chasing chickens and horses (as mentioned in the WR article). I’m going to stop before I go down a rabbit hole, so let’s see if this checks out!
The top 5 states in terms of high school prospects (without population considered) are:
1. Florida (208)
2. Texas (163)
3. California (160)
4. Georgia (113)
5. Louisiana (53)
*Same exact states and order as WR
This is the same states, in the same order, so you’re Pee-Wee football coach who said DB’s are WR’s who can’t catch, may have been smarter than you thought! Here are the top 5 states in terms of NFL draftees (without population considered):
1. Florida (178)
2. California (112)
3. Texas (94)
4. Maryland (53)
5. Virginia (50)
After the big three, this one really switched it up. I mean who in the world invited Maryland and Virginia? I never thought I’d see Maryland ranked in a top 5 of anything but crime rate and crab cake production. These are still beach states, so it aligns with my theory of beach states making the best skill athletes in football (QB, RB, WR, DB). Let’s get to the winner.
Drum roll (this is hard to do in words) brrrrrrrddddddddd – it’s Florida! Florida wins back-to-back and is eking its way back into the number 1 spot of overall best state of producing athletes.
Turns out Florida isn’t just populated with old people from the northeast, they actually produce athletes too…so why do all of their sport’s teams suck? Either way, thank you very much for taking time out of your day to read this article that does nothing but makes you proud or pissed off at your state. It really means a lot to me, and, as usual, I hope you enjoyed!