As of the upcoming 2017 football season, 130 schools are in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and 124 in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). It goes without saying then that, with 254 programs and a lion’s share of roster spots to fill at each one, recruiters have their work cut out for them.
Now, thanks in large part to the above chart tweeted out by NCAA Research, we have a clearer picture as to where Division I college coaches most often go looking for talent.
We have already learned that more than half of the country’s elite college football recruits hail from five states. Prior hunches about the national football recruiting base are further confirmed in the above chart – aside from just the winter weather, Florida and Vermont are total opposites.
As laid out by NCAA Research, if you are a football player in Florida, you have roughly a one in 10 chance of being recruited by one of those 250-plus programs (9.9 %). That is followed by Georgia (8.6 %) and Louisiana (8.1 %). On the other end of the spectrum is Vermont, in which roughly one in 100 high school football players are looked at by Division I programs (0.9 %).
(The study was done by taking the number of Division I football recruits from 2013 through 2016 and dividing it by the number of boys football players per state in 2015-16 as provided by the National Federation of State High School Associations.)
Granted, the numbers do not account for those not offered scholarships or for Division II and Division III college participation. As Alex Kirschner of SB Nation points out, though, Florida’s place atop this list is caused by a mix of talent and the state’s geography. With 11 Division I programs (seven in FBS, four in FCS), the Sunshine State is tied with Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania, and California for the third-most of any state. Texas, meanwhile, has 20 Division I programs to top the list, followed by North Carolina with 14.