Which State Produces the Best Players at Each Position – Defensive Tackle


We’re baaaaaack (unlike Sam Ehlinger and the Texas Longhorns, we actually are) for the fourth edition of Which State Produces the Best Player at Each Position! On the last article, we saw (SPOILERS, GO READ THE OTHER ARTICLES) Georgia improve to 3-0…to be a trend you must have 3 in a row and this is a nasty trend. However, we have many positions to go and if we must, we can pull the X-Factor card of Long Snappers to break Georgia’s undefeated streak. Let’s jump into this thing.

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 I was breaking down the data, the first thing to pop in my head is that this would be a mirror image of the OL, and just like all my arguments with my wife, I was right…sort of. Essentially all the defensive tackles came from one area, can you guess it? The South. And just like the offensive line, the regions with higher concentrations of defensive tackle athletes were also regions high in obesity rate (see maps below). So why are states with high obesity rates producing the most defensive tackles? Simple – defensive tackles are normally 290+lbs, which would be considered obese for any human being that isn’t 9 feet tall. The higher the concentration of obese people increases the odds of an athlete also being obese and ipso facto, you’ll have a lot more defensive tackles in those states than say a Colorado or Massachusetts. Enough with all this math, you came here to read about football…so let’s check out the numbers.

The top 5 states in terms of high school prospects (without population considered) are:

1. Texas (137)

2. Georgia (86)

3. Florida (63)

4. California (62)

5. Virginia (61)

Two thoughts immediately come to me: 1. Here we go again, we’ve all seen this song and dance. Georgia is about to win again (not so fast muchacho, it ain’t over until the obese state sings). 2. Texas is by far and away the highest producing state in terms of high school athletes and that should be enough to win this thing…KEEP READING!!! Here are the top 5 states in terms of NFL draftees (without population considered):

1. North Carolina (51)

2. Texas (48)

3. Georgia (44)

4. California (40)

5. Florida (27)

North Carolina? They were 7th in high school prospects (51pts – behind LA with 60pts), but must value quality over quantity as they take the cake with NFL draftees. The big three in terms of football will probably be in every top 5 list without population considered (Texas, Florida, California), but as we’ve seen in every other data crunch once population IS considered, these states take a huge dip in production. So, let’s see what happens…PUSH THE BUTTON *crunch*

Well well well, how the tables have turned Georgia. YOU HAVE BEEN UPHEAVELED (is that a word?); there’s a new sheriff in town, and he goes by Louisiana. There’s something in the gumbo down there that makes athletes who play Cajun-esque football. So how did the Swamp people steal Georgia’s crown? So, Georgia was number 2 in combined Highschool Prospects and NFL Draftees without population considered (behind Texas) and Louisiana was number 6. Louisiana was number 1 in combined Highschool Prospects and NFL Draftees with population considered and Georgia was number 6. Put it all together and you get Louisiana edging out Georgia by half a gnat’s butt hair. 

If you’re still reading this after that amazingly graphical comment about a gnat’s anatomy, I appreciate you. If you’re from Georgia, I’d like to humbly and sincerely say to you…HA YOU SUCK, can’t win ‘em all! But in all seriousness, thank you for taking the time out of your day to read an article that will simply allow you to say “actually” when arguing amongst your most civilized and proper barfly buddies. I hope you enjoyed!

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