Welcome back to another edition of Which State Produces the Best Player at Each Position! The last article we saw Alabama sneak into the winner’s circle with the Linebacker position. Alabama never really wins much when it comes to football so I’m sure everyone was pulling for them to get this victory…Anyway, it’s time to do the position we have all been waiting for – KICKER! Just kidding, no offense kickers, no one likes you – unless you kick a game winner, then we like you for a couple of days.
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.
The Quarterback is the limelight of the football team as the offense lives and dies through their play (unless you’re Wisconsin or Iowa and run the ball 110% of the time). I’d even go as far as saying that the QB position is the most important position in all of sports. Think about it, rules have been made to literally change the game to protect them. College teams are leaving (legal) bags of money on high school kid’s doors to convince them to come to their school and honestly, without a QB, what can you do? Think about the past decade and (forget the outliers of Stetson Bennett led Georgia and the Jake Coker led Alabama championship teams) and an elite QB is virtually required to win a national championship. The Quarterback is also the hardest position to scout – college and NFL alike. So,recruiters and scouts I am about to point you in the direction where the QBs instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I’m talking about a little place called…keep reading and let’s find out.
The top 5 states in terms of high school prospects (without population considered) are:
1. California (147)
2. Texas (121)
3. Florida (66)
4. Georgia (60)
5. Arizona (43)
The same 4 states that have been in every top 5 high school prospects are here along with…Arizona? I thought the only thing Arizona produced was 99 cent tea at the gas station. California and Texas have a substantial lead in this first data crunch, so my first assumption is we’re going to have a western team win the gunslinger battle. Let’s keep going.
1. California (42)
2. Texas (34)
3. Florida (33)
4. Ohio (21)
5. North Carolina (12)
Ohio and North Carolina…You know, those aren’t the first two states that come to mind when thinking of QBs, but North Carolina has reared its head in the past couple of skill position groups. Maybe something is to be said of North Carolina football? But Ohio? I thought they only made big corn-fed hogmollies (slang for lineman), but I guess someone must throw cobs to those boys. Let’s finish this up – the western assumption looks like it’s going to work with California and Texas still far ahead.
So, I was right…a western team won! But wait, it’s not California…it’s not Texas…it’s Arizona. Out of this whole study, this has to be the biggest surprise of all. Arizona hasn’t even sniffed the top 10 of any of the other positions, let alone win a state – yet they somehow won the most important position of all. Maybe ole Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday left behind more gunslingers in Tombstone than we thought – so if you’re a scout or recruiter, the great QB state of Arizona is your huckleberry.
I want to thank everyone who took the time to read the articles in this series and I hope you had as much fun reading them as I had writing. This is my first official series with this blog, and I don’t expect it to be the last. So, stick around if you liked this series and I’ll do my best to keep you entertained…sorry, I’m not equipped with a quip for this sign off.