Over the last two weeks I have been looking back at the past three NFL Drafts and writing a series of stories regarding my findings. Simply, I wanted to find out where the NFL Draft picks are coming from .
Now it's time to wrap up this exercise. Here, I will breakdown the high school numbers of prospects signing with Division 1 programs in college. How do these findings compare with what I found while looking at the draft last week?
Stating the obvious
With the help of our Director of Recruiting, Scott Kennedy, I broke down the numbers from the last eight recruiting classes (2007-2014). Over that time, there have been 19,842 recruits that signed with D1 schools. As you would imagine Texas, California, Florida, Georgia and Ohio were the top five state producers. They absolutely dominated the numbers, accounting for 51.7% of all D1 signees since 2007. These same five states produced 47.3% of all draft picks in years 2012, 2013 and 2014.
2. Florida (2,664) 333
3. California (1,981) 247.6
4. Georgia (1,354) 169.3
5. Ohio (1,241) 155.1
6. Alabama (728) 91
7. Louisiana (678) 84.8
8. Pennsylvania (592) 74
9. Illinois (549) 68.6
10. North Carolina (541) 67.6
The top state producing leader was Texas. Over the eight seasons researched the Lone Star State averaged 377 signees per year with a high of 405 this past February. Over that time period Texas totaled 3,016 kids that signed with D1 schools.
Florida was No. 2, averaging 333, with a high of 372, which also happened to be the class of 2014. Over the last eight years the Sunshine State has produced 2,664 D1 signees. California is a steady No. 3, averaging 247.6 per year and a total of 1,981 signees since 2007. Their numbers can best be described as flat over that time period.
Georgia came in at a strong No. 4. The Peach State totaled 1,354 signees while averaging 169.3 per class over the eight years. Georgia was the only state that showed any resemblance of year over year growth from 2007 through 2014. Georgia declined one year (2012) and that was only by a number of three [recruits] from their 2011 number of 175. This state had 130 signees in 2007 and 214 this past season. But the state also recently got a boost because Georgia State and Georgia Southern are now both part of the Sun Belt Conference.
Rounding out the top five is the Buckeye State. Ohio averaged 155.1 signees each season with a grand total of 1,241. They were pretty steady numbers, with a low of 144 and a 168.
Alabama and Louisiana came in at No. 6 and No. 7, averaging 91 and 84.8 signees each season over the last eight years. Finishing up the top ten [in order] were Pennsylvania (averaging 74), Illinois (68.6) and North Carolina (67.6). Click here to see the entire state breakdown of D1 signees from the past eight seasons.
So how do these numbers compare to the numbers I found from the last three NFL Drafts reported last week? In this story I showed you what states produced the most NFL Drafts picks over the last three years. It's the same teams but a different order. Florida had the most draftees, followed by Texas. Here, Texas had the most signees, followed by Florida. California, Georgia and Ohio stayed in the same order.
States producing the most draft picks from six through ten were South Carolina, Louisiana, North Carolina, Alabama and Virginia. When you look at the D1 signees over the past eight years, South Carolina is not even in the top ten. Virginia isn't either. The numbers look more old school, with states like Pennsylvania and Illinois regarding recruiting. They are in the top ten in terms of signees in college and but not in the top ten when you make the conversion to the NFL with draft picks.
If you compare the regional numbers or percentages between the number of signees over the last eight years and the number of draft picks over the past three, they are almost identical. In each, the South leads the way. 36.25% of all Division 1 signees come from the Southern state since 2007. 36.57% of all draft picks in 2012, 2013 and 2014 played their high school football in the South. 20.7 % of the entire U.S. population resides in the South.
2. Midlands (19.01)
3. West (17.33)
4. Midwest (15.5)
5. East (11.67)
The No. 2 region in Division 1 signees is the Midlands. Their percentage of signees over the past eight years is 19.01%. Their percentage of draft picks over the last three years is 15.47%.
The No. 3 region in terms of signees over this time is the West. Their percentage is 17.33% for signees and 18.35% for draftees.
The Midwest is No. 4, with a 15.5% of signees. By comparison, the Midwest produced 13.37 of the draft picks.
Rounding up the list for signees is the East region. Their percentage is 11.67%. The East did better with their draftees over the last three years with a percentage of 14.02%.
Per capita surprise
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the United States currently has a population of 317 million. The top five states in this exercise, Florida, California, Texas, Georgia and Ohio, have a combined population of 106.22 million, which corresponds to 33.5% of the population.
So if you look at the draftees based on population and per capita numbers, the big board looks different.
2. Louisiana (4.64) 18.28
3. Florida (19.5) 17.08
4. Hawaii (1.4) 17.07
5. Georgia (9.92) 17.06
6. D.C. (640K) 15.49
7. Mississippi (2.99) 14.85
8. Texas (26.1) 14.44
9. Ohio (11.6) 13.4
10. Oklahoma (3.81) 9.92
Once again, there is a surprise at the top when looking at per capita and what state produces the most Division 1 signees over the past eight seasons.
Finishing No. 1 is Alabama. With a population of 4.8 million they finished with a per capita score of 18.96. You get this number by dividing their average number of Division 1 signees (91) by their population total. They narrowly edge out Louisiana for the top ranking. The Bayou State, with a population of 4.64 million, had a per capita score of 18.28.
Can you see the irony here? Nick Saban and Les Miles. Alabama and LSU. They are also the two programs with the most draft picks over the last three years. The Crimson Tide have had 25 selections. The Tigers have had 23.
It's interesting how these run parallel. 13 of Alabama's draftees were from Alabama and one was from Louisiana. For LSU, 16 of their 23 draft selections have been from Louisiana. In Alabama's defense, they do recruit more out of state and also had draft selections from the states of Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi and the country of Australia.
Now in getting back to this exercise, Florida, Hawaii and Georgia round out of the top five per capita scores and it's very tight between the three. Florida scored 17.08, edging Hawaii with 17.07 and Georgia with 17.06. Hawaii is the major surprise here among this trio. Keep in mind that their production is much smaller. In the past eight years they have only produced 191 signees. Still, with a population of 1.4 million they have a very high per capita score.
Next was the District of Columbia at No. 6 with a per capita score of 15.49. No. 7 was Mississippi (18.85), followed by Texas (14.44), Ohio (13.4) and Oklahoma (9.92).
I see the state of Utah as a Division 1 signee surprise with a per capita number of 8.85. That score makes them No. 11.
South Carolina, who as a state had the highest per capita score of NFL Draft prospects over the past three years, finished No. 12 with a per capita score looking at Division 1 signees that they have produced. The Palmetto State's per capita score was 8.30.
No. 13 was Arkansas (8.07), No. 14 was Virginia (7.08) and No. 15 was Tennessee (7.02).
California, with a population of 38.3 million, finished with a per capita score of 6.46 in terms of Division 1 signees over the past eight seasons, which was 19th. This state finished in the exact same spot when you look at their number of draft picks over the last three seasons.Part 1, Draft Stats
Part 2, South Florida Express Way
Part 3, Conference Breakdown
Part 4, Recruiting Assassins
Part 5, Texas Mis-steps