Louisiana has most fertile football soil in America


Kansas safety Mike Lee (11) intercepts a pass during overtime on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas safety Mike Lee (11) intercepts a pass during overtime on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Recently promoted Kansas associate head coach Tony Hull has made the Jayhawks a player in Louisiana and there isn’t a better place in America to chase football players.

The Boot has a higher concentration of loud football talent than any other state and the numbers prove it.

I used three different sources of data to determine the most fertile football state: First, a report that broke down by state the number of NFL players on opening-week rosters; second, the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau; third, a look at the number of schools in each state from power-five conferences.

NFL players by state, the population rank of the state, number of schools from power-five football conferences:

1 - Florida (193, 4, 3)

2 - California (187, 1, 4)

3 - Texas (160, 2, 5)

4 - Georgia (97, 8, 2)

5 - Ohio (80, 7, 1)

6 - Pennsylvania (66, 6, 2)

7 - Louisiana (63, 25, 1)

8 - Alabama (60, 23, 2)

Louisiana has one 2016 opening-week NFL player for every 73,420 residents, based on 2013 census figures, tops in the nation, ranking just ahead of Alabama, which has one for every 80,562 residents. For comparison purposes, Texas has one for every 165,301 residents.

The six states with more NFL players than Louisiana all rank in the top eight in the nation in population. Louisiana ranks 25th.

Also, with the exception of Ohio, every state with more NFL players than Louisiana has more than one school from a power-five conference. Texas has five power-five schools, California four, Florida three.

Kansas long has relied heavily on players from Texas and Kansas and to a lesser extent, Missouri and Oklahoma.

It’s getting tougher and tougher to land prospects from Texas, in part because of Texas A&M’s defection to the SEC. So Kansas needed to extend its recruiting footprint. Glen Mason did a nice job of establishing Kansas as a player in Ohio, recruiting athletes Ohio State was not pursuing. David Beaty, by hiring and a year later promoting, is playing it smart by getting aggressive in Louisiana, where LSU doesn't have enough scholarships to hog all the good prospects.

Beaty’s not alone in that strategy in the Big 12, where Baylor did well under Art Briles, but he is ahead of others. Texas Tech just hired Jabbar Juluke, demoted by LSU from running backs coach, to become associate head coach/running backs coach. Smart move, but iHull has a head start on him.

Hull drew national attention in recent days by receiving six verbal commitments from Louisiana prospects, all of whom are rated as either three-star or four-star prospects. The bigger the Louisiana class he lands, the better chance they all band together and become determined to be the ones to turn Kansas into a winning program.

It can’t hurt that Mike Lee, from Landry Walker High in New Orleans, had such a positive experience as a freshman. Lee earned Rivals freshman All-American honors at safety. He had 77 tackles (70 solo), broke up four passes, forced two fumbles and had an interception. His 12 tackles, forced fumble and interception in overtime sparked Kansas to its first victory against Texas since 1938.


Joe Ross 1 year, 3 months ago

These Louisiana guys are gonna make the difference. Theyll have a sense of comraderie amongst both themselves as a smaller group, and with the larger team as a whole. Cant wait to get them on campus.

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