According to some recent research done by the Detroit News, who took a look at NFL rosters at the end of last season, nearly 1/3 of the league's players came from high schools located in just three states.
Florida led all states with 213 players, followed closely behind with California with 207, and Texas was third with 184 players. High school players hailing from Florida made up 11.7% of all NFL players, California players made up 11.4%, and Texas players made up just over 10%.
Well below Texas was Georgia at #4, followed by Ohio, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to round out the top 10. Not surprisingly, Alaska, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont had zero players represented on NFL rosters at the end of last season.
How do Texas, Florida and California churn out NFL talent at a rate head and shoulders above the rest of the states? Population is one major factor, and according to the US Census Bureau, California had the highest population, followed by Texas and Florida. The other big factor is the football culture and competition.
“You look at the culture in those states like Florida and Texas, specifically, and football is ingrained in the culture there,” Tom VanHaaren, a recruiting analyst for ESPN, told the Detroit News. “It's such a huge part of who they are."
"What makes such good football players at the next level is being able to handle the pressure and being able to handle the level of competition because everybody is good," VanHaaren went on to explain,
“Having the opportunity to play against really good competition – not just anybody – all year round is a huge factor," he added.
Below is a full break down from the Detroit News of what states high school players are coming into the NFL from.