Which State Produces the Best Players – Overall


It’s been a while, but I’m back…like you’re in-laws or athlete’s foot (whichever you find worse). This series had some ups and downs, but one thing it hasn’t had yet – a conclusion. We’ve looked at all the positions (except for kicker and long snapper because who cares, right?) and got a zoomed in view of which state did the best. But how about which state produces the best/most players overall? This is the final trump card, the ace of spades, the +4 wild card, the coup de grâce (that’s rights, I got a couple brain cells floatin’ around) of the debate with you’re second cousin at the Thanksgiving table (run on sentence?). Let’s jump on in before I lose ya.

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 finalized the data compilation, I shed a tear or two. This was a lot of data collection and rambling and I feel like I learned a lot. If you’ve read the other articles I’ve written per position (found here: https://thewalkonredshirts.com/) I want to thank you earlier than I normally do – before you fall asleep. My predictions for this would have to go first to the big 3 – Florida, Texas, and California. They’ve been in the top 20 for every position and produce, by far, the highest quantity of athletes. I also can assume that Louisiana and Georgia will be pretty high, due to them being top 10 for every position for quantity and per capita. The rest of the rankings, are up in the air. 

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

1. Texas (1134)

2. Florida (1119)

3. California (1009)

4. Georgia (816)

5. Louisiana (345)

The drop off in the amount of stars produced over the 5 year sample is astronomical – Louisiana, at 5, is almost 500 total points below 4th place! That’s absurd, but as predicted (just maybe not to this magnitude). I’m going to assume that NFL draftees will be similar. Here are the top 5 states in terms of NFL draftees (without population considered):

1. Florida (621)

2. Texas (500)

3. California (474)

4. Georgia (365)

5. Ohio (258)

These are very similar, but somehow Ohio ended up in the group…I guess you must really want to make it professionally so you can get the hell out of Ohio. That other than that, the top 4 has been pretty consistent. Let’s see what happens when we add population to the party.

Congratulations Louisiana, you’re the overall winner of the illustrious “Which State Produces the Best Players” contest. Please send me a large sum of money and your award will arrive shortly after. The biggest surprise of all of this is that Florida is the first “big 3” on the list at 5 – followed by Texas at 10 and California all the way at 16 (probably cause of taxes or something). 

I want to thank you all again for reading this series. It truly was a joy to research this data and put it together for you and I hope you had as much fun reading this, as I did write it. Welp, glad you got to hear from me.

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