On Wednesday, I looked at the metro areas that produced the most NFL players at the start of the 2012 season. This post looks at the states and mega-regions that have done so.
Many of the most populous states dominate the top 10, with only one state (Louisiana) ranking below 12th overall in population. California and Florida, home of the top two NFL-producing metros (LA and Miami) finish 1st and 3rd. Both have several other metros that also produce many players. Sandwiched between them is Texas, home of Dallas and Houston – two of the top 5 metros.
New Jersey’s inclusion, while New York state doesn’t show up on the list, is a reflection of the fact that most of the New York City metro area’s players actually come from the New Jersey counties that are part of it.
The southern states, like the colleges, dominate this list. 7 of 10 states are from the south and/or sun belt, with only Ohio (the best performing northern state by nearly every metric), midwest powerhouse Nebraska, and the island state of Hawaii cracking the top 10 from outside those areas. The deep south states (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina) atop the list are home to only one NFL team (New Orleans Saints, though part of South Carolina is included in the Charlotte MSA – home to the Carolina Panthers); however, many college football powerhouses play in that region.
Going back to the 11 Mega Regions, the most populous regions, the Great Lakes, is first, followed by the Piedmont and Florida. Southern California does well on the strength of Los Angeles and the Inland Empire.
The Piedmont, whose colleges lead the way in producing players, shows up atop this list, edging out Florida. Cascadia, whose colleges do well, is one of the two worst performing regions, a sign that it imports players at that level.
The final post will focus on the metros where star players are bred.