Does Recruiting Ever Really End?
Football season is officially over, signing day has come and gone, and yet we believe there is still a fascinating recruiting graphic that is just begging to be shared. This one comes from ESPN.com’s Recruiting Nation and is called Field of Battles. It takes a look at the ESPN 150 over the last five years–a total of 750 players–and, while some results are predictable, there are enough surprises to make for interesting reading.
Take a Bow, Florida
While Florida is only the fourth most populous state it has been well represented in the ESPN 150, supplying 148 players over the past five years. That’s nearly one in five of the most highly-rated players that come from the sunshine state. Is it any wonder that the University of Florida leads the pack here, signing 57 ESPN 150 players over the past five years?
How ’bout Those Gamecocks?
Who rounds out the top five? Texas, Georgia, California and South Carolina, respectively. While Texas and California are widely known to be recruiting hotbeds, Georgia and South Carolina provide a lot of bang for the buck. For instance, South Carolina is the 24th most populous state and yet it has the 5th most players in the ESPN 150.
Alabama Had to Be in There Somewhere
Perhaps the most interesting part of the graphic–at least to us–is the positional breakdown, what state they hail from and which schools they choose. UCLA, as an example, ties for the leading destination for top quarterbacks, a mild surprise considering their on-the-field struggles over the last five years. Can all of this teach us anything about the character and makeup of a particular state? Does it really mean anything that Texas produces the most offensive linemen, but the state of Alabama produces the best centers?
Finally, let’s take a look at the top schools by average miles recruits traveled to attend.
Stanford? Of Course It’s Stanford
Stanford is at the top, with recruits moving an average of 1,466 miles to attend. No surprise here as Stanford is the top academic school that plays really good football and they’ve been good the last five years. Others in the top ten fit a similar profile with the likes of Cal, Northwestern and Notre Dame.