February 09, 2011
Rivals High recruiting guru Dallas Jackson has crunched the numbers to determine which states produced the most Division I talent in the 2011 recruiting class, and thankfully went one step beyond noting that (as always) California, Florida and Texas churned out the most players. Of course they did, because those three states alone account for more than 25 percent of the entire U.S. population. In per capita terms, the map looks like this – the darker the red, the more players the state produced in relation to the total number of high school players in the state:
Florida produced 344 FBS signees, one behind Texas for the national lead, but with less than a quarter of Texas' available talent pool. Overall, the odds of a player from Florida signing up for a major college scholarship last year (1 in 111) were about four times better than players from both California (1 in 412) and Texas (1 in 454). The only other states that produced a ratio better than 1 in 200 were Georgia (1 in 171) and Louisiana (1 in 185) in relatively stacked years for both states. You might counter that the scouts need to get out of the South, but considering a quarter of the top 100 prospects in Florida are leaving the Southeast, the rest of the country seems to have decided it needs to get in.
At the other end of the spectrum, four states – New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wyoming – produced exactly zero FBS signees out of more than 10,000 high school players between them. Yes, even Alaska produced one, who is so obscure I can't identify him through any of the usual databases, but who singlehandedly gave the Frontier State slightly better odds (1 in 2,037) than Big Ten states Iowa (1 in 2,161) and Minnesota (1 in 2,312) and West Virginia (1 in 2,135). Maybe there's hope for the Fightin' Grizzlies of Palin U. yet.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.