Welcome back to the second edition of Which State Produces the Best Player at Each Position! Last week we saw Georgia take the cake for best state for Offensive Lineman prospects and this week we will take a deep dive into the Tight End position – by far my favorite position in football.
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.
If Offensive Line is the most important position in football, then Tight End has to be the most valuable. Think about all the best teams in the NFL and usually they’ll have a dominate Tight End. This doesn’t quite apply the same way in college for some reason, but the value a college team gets from a dominate Tight End is invaluable. So which states produce the best Tight Ends, and why? My first thought when determining where I thought Tight Ends would come from was, well, where do the most basketball players come from? A lot of the time, Tight Ends are/were also dominate basketball players. This, however, was not the case. Well, the natural next thought was to investigate a correlation between the tallest states and Tight End prospects – strike two. I can’t strike out on my second article in this series, can I? Well, I may have to simply lay down the bat, because the truth is, I can’t find any correlation with the states that are atop the list (feel free to comment and let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions!). The one thing that seems true and is very similar to the best states for Offensive Lineman, is that most Tight Ends come from the Southeast and the Midwest (I feel like this may be a repeating trend for all positions).
Let’s get into the meat and potatoes:
1. California – 104pts
2. Georgia – 94pts
3. Texas – 93pts
4. Florida – 85pts
5. Ohio – 63pts
And the top 5 states in producing Tight End NFL draftees are (without population considered):
2. Georgia – 28pts
3. California – 21pts
4. Ohio – 19pts
5. New Jersey – 18pts
Any trends noticed? Well one, I see two states from the Southeast on both lists – Georgia and Florida. I also notice that California is high in production, but we all knew that because it seems that most players come from Cali, Texas, and Florida. However, when population comes into play, there’s a big shift in which states populate the top 5 (difference is calculated by comparing the rank without population considered with the rank with population considered).
So, which state produces the top Tight Ends? I believe the answer must be Georgia again. In terms of just the number of recruits and draftees that are produced, Georgia is 2nd and 2nd, and once population is considered, they are 1st. The next best state would be Ohio and they are 5th, 4th, 3rd respectively. It seems that if you want a player to line up in your trenches in college or the NFL, you should go check out kids from Georgia.
South Carolina, Alabama, and Florida fans, I want to apologize to you personally and sincerely for fueling your annoying 3rd-cousin twice removed’s arguments on how Georgia is underrated in terms of athletics, specifically the foosball. But take heart! There are plenty of positions left and you may be able to get a couple of jabs in here or there…unless you’re from Vermont…you may want to stay away from sports arguments with your Georgia relatives.
If you’re still reading, I want to thank you. Whether you’re celebrating by building a shrine with my articles located in between a plethora of scented candles or speaking to a Voodoo witch doctor on how to remove me from the internet – my gratitude is the same. Be sure to check out my previous articles if you haven’t already, and as always, ENJOY!