Where Does NFL Talent Come From?

by

September 28

Fourteen cities produced at least ten players on Kickoff Weekend rosters in the NFL, led by Miami, Florida, and Houston, Texas, tied with 19 apiece.
 
“Coming from Miami–the competition is just different,” said Cleveland Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper. “There is a high level of competition, so by the time you get to college, a lot of guys from other states have a huge adjustment period because the game speeds up for them. What I have noticed from my experience and talking to a lot of other Miami guys is that they never have that adjustment period going into college. As a matter of fact, some guys say that when they get to college, things get a little bit easier because they played against so many rising stars from other states growing up as opposed to just playing against people in the Miami area. The high level of competition playing football in Miami prepares us for the next level.”
Cities With the Most NFL Players:
  • Houston, TX; Miami, FL (19)
  • Detroit, MI (16)
  • Tampa, FL (15)
  • Bradenton, FL (14)
  • Atlanta, GA; New Orleans, LA (13)
  • Cleveland, OH (12)
  • Plantation, FL (11)
  • Austin, TX; Cincinnati, OH; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Philadelphia, PA; St. Louis, MO (10)
 With 14 cities that produced at least four NFL players, Texas moved ahead of Florida for the most players by state. They are two of four states with 150-plus players before a big drop-off.
States With the Most NFL Players:
  • Texas (199)
  • Florida (185)
  • California (166)
  • Georgia (151)
  • Ohio (74)
  • Louisiana (65)
  • Alabama; North Carolina; Pennsylvania (58)
  • Illinois (56)
The school with the most NFL players is IMG Academy (14) in Bradenton, followed by American Heritage (9) in Plantation, Saint Thomas Aquinas High School (9) in Fort Lauderdale, and Miami Northwestern Senior High School (7) in Miami. All reside in the Sunshine State.
 
Only eight high schools have produced as many as five current pros, with three of the following four in Texas, in addition to one school in Louisiana. There are 24 high schools with four alums who play on Sundays.
 
On a per capita basis, Georgia’s 151 ranks first (1 NFL player per 70,940 people), followed by Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Texas ranks ninth. The highest state outside of the SEC footprint (per capita)? Utah is sixth. Biggest surprise? How about Delaware checking in at eighth? They’re nestled in between Maryland and the Lone Star State.
Thumbnail photo via Scott Clause/USA Today Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

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