The Big Men on Campus – Keeping Top Football Recruits in State

By Nick Jaroszewicz

The spectacle of signing day has made college football fans around America cognizant of the quality of their football teams recruiting classes. A good class can rejuvenate a down trodden fan base and a disappointing one can put a coach in hot water. While a few of the top athletes have yet to make up their mind, and many 3 stars have yet to find a home, the 4 and 5 star athletes, have, for the most part, put on the hat of their selected college, hoping to lead them to glory.

Where will these guys end up?

For donors, and coaches, in state athletes are a very valuable commodity. Not just the in state, run of the mill players—they recruit to try to get the top high school seniors to see the benefit of playing for an in state school. In recent years, many teams such as Ohio State have been largely criticized for failing to make in state 4 and 5 star players come play for the Buckeyes.

So how did the states do in their own game of Mario, collecting the blue chippers? Find out after the jump.

State Possible Stars Total Stars Percentage Still on Table
Alabama 40 32 80.0%
Alaska 0 0 -
Arizona 21 0 0.0%
Arkansas 16 12 75.0%
California 101 61 60.4% 16
Colorado 4 0 0.0%
Connecticut 0 0 -
Delaware 4 0 0.0%
DC 4 0 0.0%
Florida 251 129 51.4% 4
Georgia 122 60 49.2% 4
Hawaii 0 0 -
Idaho 0 0 -
Illinois 20 0 0.0%
Indiana 16 0 0.0%
Iowa 4 0 0.0%
Kansas 8 0 0.0%
Kentucky 8 4 50.0%
Louisiana 38 30 78.9%
Maine 0 0 -
Maryland 25 0 0.0%
Massachusetts 4 4 100.0%
Michigan 24 16 66.7%
Minnesota 4 4 100.0%
Mississippi 20 12 60.0%
Missouri 4 0 0.0%
Montana 0 0 -
Nebraska 4 4 100.0%
Nevada 4 0 0.0%
New Hampshire 0 0 -
New Jersey 24 8 33.3%
New Mexico 4 0 0.0%
New York 8 0 0.0%
North Carolina 52 20 38.5%
North Dakota 0 0 -
Ohio 48 28 58.3%
Oklahoma 8 0 0.0%
Oregon 8 4 50.0%
Pennsylvania 20 0 0.0%
Rhode Island 0 0 -
South Carolina 50 34 68.0% 5
South Dakota 0 0 -
Tennessee 8 4 50.0%
Texas 162 77 47.5%
Utah 0 0 -
Vermont 0 0 -
Virginia 36 16 44.4%
Washington 8 8 100.0%
West Virginia 0 0 -
Wisconsin 0 0 -
Wyoming 0 0 -

“Still on table” denotes the stars of athletes who have yet to commit.

As you can see, Florida, with teams such as Miami, Florida, and Florida State, vastly outperforms its counterparts when it comes to collecting stars, as its 129 stars are 52 stars better than any other state – it doesn’t hurt having a ton of local talent as their 251 “potential stars” also dwarfs the rest. Mack Brown and the University of Texas, despite an off year on the field, still did remarkably well, only competing with Baylor and Texas Tech and still gaining 61 stars from in state athletes.

These results are only for 4 and 5 star athletes, as many slightly less prestigious football programs are judged on 3 star athletes and only a few 4 and possibly 5 star guys. That being said, it is also interesting to see where these guys come from. Places like Georgia, thought to be a place where the people may want nothing more than to play in Athens, manages only to get less than half of the big time recruits to be a Bulldog. As for a state like Alabama, with two powerhouses in Alabama and Auburn, there is almost no incentive to leave the state for “greener pastures”.

My biggest surprises are:

1)     The fact the Pennsylvania’s 5 recruits did not want to go play for Joe Paterno

2)     Les Miles works Louisiana for all it is worth

3)     Minnesota’s one 4 star recruit still picked Minnesota, despite all the problems they have underwent the past year.

4)     California, while prestigious in high school football, had a little bit of a down year for recruiting (compare to last year, where they had 30 4-star players and 2 5 star players, for a total of 130 stars)

The least surprising thing: The amount of talent in the South. It’s no surprise the SEC is so dominant when you look at the quality of the recruits in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama and Texas. Conference reshuffling might yield interesting results, and who knows if the BCS will still be around when these guys are Juniors and Seniors, but if they keep recruiting the way they do, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the SEC’s era of dominance continue a little longer.

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5 Responses to The Big Men on Campus – Keeping Top Football Recruits in State

  1. imfromnj says:

    Many states don’t follow the model of having one big state university. You mentioned Pennsylvania, where Pitt is big in Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia doesn’t really have any big college football affiliation. The same goes for New York, where NYC is actually far closer to Rutgers than Syracuse.

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  4. NickJ says:

    To clarify, these are based only on ESPN.com’s recruiting website

  5. John Bessman says:

    In addition to Texas Tech and Baylor, Texas also competes with Texas A&M for recruits.

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