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Where do Coaches Recruit?
When you think of football recruiting, have you ever wondered where these coaches go to get all these great athletes? Are these coaches jet-setting all over the country, selling 17 & 18 year old kids on an education, an opportunity to be great, and possibly–for some–to become part of history? College football has become a high stakes, high dollar game with much to lose from every side if the wrong decisions are made. Interestingly many of those decisions come down to where to recruit, who to recruit, and how hard to recruit them.
Recruiting Hot Beds for Top Ten Teams
It has been shown over and over that just one high caliber recruit can make a difference on a team. If a coach is lucky enough to bring in a top class he could change the face of his program for the foreseeable future. Where are these coaches pulling these athletes from?
Normally those close to the sport of football and recruiting will say that California, Texas, and Florida are the prime areas of real estate. It is known that coaches from all over the country flock to these areas like it’s the California Gold Rush all over again.
Do the numbers support this? According to the data we accumulated, Texas, California, and Florida ranked #1, #2, and #4 respectively for the top-ten ranked teams. The only state able to work its way into the mix was Louisiana, which houses BCS powerhouse and #1 ranked Louisiana State University.
Staying Close to Home
Most teams did a great job of staying close to home and recruiting. We cast a 500 mile net around each university and found that almost all the schools did the bulk of their recruiting within that perimeter–8 out of the 10 schools recruited inside the set barrier more than 60% of the time.
Another Thing the SEC Does Best
We also looked at which schools recruited their conference mates’ turf the most and found that by far the SEC schools did it the best. Outside of Arkansas, all other SEC schools recruited other SEC school states over 80% of the time. Again, this is just among the top ten ranked teams.
The Netherlands? Really?
The good news for international athletes is that the top 10 teams fielded 10 internationals, most notably with Boise State–7% of their roster comes from outside the United States. It seems Boise State really sees Canada and the Netherlands as fertile recruiting grounds and it shows as Boise has one of the best winning percentages in college football for the past several years.
For those of you living in West Virginia, North and South Dakota, anywhere north of Massachusetts, New Mexico, or Alaska, it seems that this year’s top 10 teams have forgotten that your states exist. There were no athletes from these states on the rosters of the top ten teams. Statistically Canada and the Netherlands are more popular for recruiting than the forgotten 8.
Our research shows that coaches don’t have to travel very far to get quality recruits. What does this mean for prospective recruits? It means you don’t have to travel far to be seen. Pay close attention to the number of athletes each team has taken from their own state.
Still the Kings
It’s true that Texas, California, and Florida are still the kings of the fertile recruiting lands, but it is possible for states to encroach on their turf. If you are an international athlete playing American football keep plugging away but consider trips to the US for exposure.