Elite States of Recruiting: Quarterbacks

My previous article on recruiting got me thinking about geography, and on a country-wide scale. What schools are getting the best skill players? The best OL / DL? Which conferences are pulling in the most elite talent at a given position? Which states produce the most elite-level recruits for a given position? Today's look will focus on elite QB recruits from 2006 through the 2011 recruiting cycles.

If you're Whatsamatta U somewhere in the Midwest and you want to secure an elite QB recruit, can you expect to stay in-state to find your guy? Maybe a nearby state? Or just maybe you're in a water-cooler argument. By the end of this and future positional articles, you'll be armed to the teeth. This is part 1 of a multi-part series on elite prep player production per state.

Quarterbacks

Perhaps no one player is more important toward an offense's and thus team's success than its quarterback. And elite quarterbacking can elevate even the most vanilla scheme into a high-powered offense. Elite quarterback recruits are highly sought-after prizes.

We at Florida State have to be enamored with Coach Fisher's commitment to playing the best QB available, their maturation under center in an NFL-friendly offense, and his unbelievable recruiting of QBs with arms, legs, and brains. While EJ Manuel is his first real QB recruit to start at FSU, the securing of 2012 dual-threat QB commit Jameis Winston promulgates Fisher's recruiting philosophy and achievement. Jameis is similarly talented to Manuel, and perhaps similarly destined.

For this and future studies, we'll be looking at the top ESPN QB recruits from 2006 through 2011. Note that ESPN did not use the star designations until the 2010 recruiting cycle. Therefore, I've limited the sample to QB recruits who graded at 80 or better for this study (this left out a few 4* 79 players; but not all 79 grade players were 4-star recruits).

Some of you may duck, but the rest of you should jump.

The following is a table of 80-and-above grade QB recruits, sorted by School.

ESPN 80+ QBs (2006 through 2011) by school

  Recruit Year Grade School State
A.J. McCarron 2009 83 Alabama Alabama
Phillip Sims 2010 83 Alabama Virginia
Tyler Lyon 2006 80 Arizona California
Mitch Mustain 2006 91 Arkansas Arkansas
Tyler Wilson 2008 82 Arkansas Arkansas
Neil Caudle 2006 81 Auburn Alabama
Kiehl Frazier 2011 81 Auburn Arkansas
Steven Ensminger 2006 80 Auburn Louisiana
Kelly Page 2008 80 Ball State Texas
Chase Rettig 2010 80 Boston College California
Jake Heaps 2010 80 Brigham Young Washington
Kevin Riley 2006 80 Cal Oregon
Kyle Parker 2008 83 Clemson Florida
Tajh Boyd 2009 82 Clemson Virginia
Willy Korn 2007 80 Clemson South Carolina
Tim Tebow 2006 90 Florida Florida
Jeff Driskel 2011 85 Florida Florida
John Brantley 2007 84 Florida Florida
Jordan Reed 2009 81 Florida Connecticut
Cameron Newton 2007 81 Florida Georgia
EJ Manuel 2008 82 Florida State Virginia
Matthew Stafford 2006 93 Georgia Texas
Aaron Murray 2009 86 Georgia Florida
Logan Gray 2007 82 Georgia Missouri
Zach Mettenberger 2009 81 Georgia Georgia
Christian LeMay 2011 81 Georgia North Carolina
Isiah Williams 2006 82 Illinois Illinois
John Wienke 2008 80 Iowa Illinois
Josh Freeman 2006 80 Kansas State Missouri
Morgan Newton 2009 81 Kentucky Indiana
Teddy Bridgewater 2011 80 Louisville Florida
Jarrett Lee 2007 81 LSU Texas
Jerrard Randall 2011 80 LSU Florida
Jordan Jefferson 2008 80 LSU Louisiana
Zach Lee 2010 80 LSU Texas
Jeremy Ricker 2006 81 Maryland Pennsylvania
Tyler Smith 2010 80 Maryland Pennsylvania
Taylor Cook 2008 81 Miami (FL) Texas
Robert Marve 2007 80 Miami (FL) Florida
Ryan Mallett 2007 85 Michigan Texas
Tate Forcier 2009 81 Michigan California
Devin Gardner 2010 81 Michigan Michigan
Andrew Maxwell 2009 80 Michigan State Michigan
Clint Brewster 2007 82 Minnesota Colorado
Moses Alipate 2009 81 Minnesota Minnesota
MarQueis Gray 2008 80 Minnesota Indiana
Blaine Gabbert 2008 83 Missouri Missouri
Bubba Starling 2011 81 Nebraska Kansas
Bryn Renner 2009 81 North Carolina Virginia
Mike Glennon 2008 83 North Carolina State Virginia
Jimmy Clausen 2007 86 Notre Dame California
Dayne Crist 2008 84 Notre Dame California
Zachary Frazer 2006 83 Notre Dame Pennsylvania
Demetrius Jones 2006 82 Notre Dame Illinois
Andrew Hendrix 2010 80 Notre Dame Ohio
Terrelle Pryror 2008 93 Ohio State Pennsylvania
Braxton Miller 2011 81 Ohio State Ohio
Blake Bell 2010 81 Oklahoma Kansas
Landry Jones 2008 81 Oklahoma New Mexico
J.W. Walsh 2011 80 Oklahoma State Texas
Robert Bolden 2010 81 Penn State Michigan
Patrick Devlin 2006 81 Penn State Pennsylvania
Tino Sunseri 2008 80 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Tom Savage 2009 81 Rutgers Pennsylvania
Stephen Garcia 2007 82 South Carolina Florida
Andrew Luck 2008 82 Stanford Texas
Josh Nunes 2009 81 Stanford California
Brett Nottingham 2010 80 Stanford California
Tyler Bray 2010 81 Tennessee California
Jevan Snead 2006 91 Texas Texas
Garret Gilbert 2009 86 Texas Texas
David Ash 2011 80 Texas Texas
Jacob Karam 2009 80 Texas Tech Texas
Brett Hundley 2011 81 UCLA Arizona
Nick Crissman 2008 81 UCLA California
Richard Brehaut 2009 81 UCLA California
Matt Barkley 2009 93 USC California
Aaron Corp 2007 82 USC California
Jesse Scroggins 2010 82 USC California
Max Wittek 2011 81 USC California
Tyrod Taylor 2007 84 Virginia Tech Virginia
Jake Locker 2006 83 Washington Washington
Eugene Smith 2009 81 West Viriginia Florida
Jon Budmayr 2009 80 Wisconsin Illinois

Florida, Georgia, & Notre Dame each took 5 elite QBs over the 6 recruiting-cycle period (2006-2011). Their respective program ratings over nearly the same period (2006-2010) were 2nd, 12th, & 30th.

Tied for 2nd in total Elite QB recruits were LSU (3rd in program rating) & USC (8th), each with 4.

Tied for 3rd were Minnesota (70th), Michigan (50th), Clemson (13th), UCLA (60), Texas (17), Stanford (22), & Auburn (7), each with 3. Arguably, Cam Newton could be moved into Auburn's category $ince he most contributed to Auburn's 2010 success.

Here are the aggregate elite QB recruits by conference. The SEC took in a whopping 29% of all elite QBs during the 2006-2011 period. Florida State had only 1 of the ACC's 12. In all, there were 84 elite QBs that committed to a school during the 2006-2011 period.

 

Conference Elite QBs
SEC 24
Big Ten 14
Pac-10 13
ACC 12
Big 12 10
Indep. (ND) 5
Big East 4
MAC 1
MWC 1

 

Elite QB-producing States

Here is the first list, now sorted by State.

ESPN 80+ QBs (2006 through 2011) by home-state
Recruit Year Grade School State
A.J. McCarron 2009 83 Alabama Alabama
Neil Caudle 2006 81 Auburn Alabama
Brett Hundley 2011 81 UCLA Arizona
Mitch Mustain 2006 91 Arkansas Arkansas
Tyler Wilson 2008 82 Arkansas Arkansas
Kiehl Frazier 2011 81 Auburn Arkansas
Tyler Lyon 2006 80 Arizona California
Chase Rettig 2010 80 Boston College California
Tate Forcier 2009 81 Michigan California
Jimmy Clausen 2007 86 Notre Dame California
Dayne Crist 2008 84 Notre Dame California
Josh Nunes 2009 81 Stanford California
Brett Nottingham 2010 80 Stanford California
Tyler Bray 2010 81 Tennessee California
Nick Crissman 2008 81 UCLA California
Richard Brehaut 2009 81 UCLA California
Aaron Corp 2007 82 USC California
Matt Barkley 2009 93 USC California
Jesse Scroggins 2010 82 USC California
Max Wittek 2011 81 USC California
Clint Brewster 2007 82 Minnesota Colorado
Jordan Reed 2009 81 Florida Connecticut
Kyle Parker 2008 83 Clemson Florida
Tim Tebow 2006 90 Florida Florida
John Brantley 2007 84 Florida Florida
Jeff Driskel 2011 85 Florida Florida
Aaron Murray 2009 86 Georgia Florida
Teddy Bridgewater 2011 80 Louisville Florida
Jerrard Randall 2011 80 LSU Florida
Robert Marve 2007 80 Miami (FL) Florida
Stephen Garcia 2007 82 South Carolina Florida
Eugene Smith 2009 81 West Viriginia Florida
Cameron Newton 2007 81 Florida Georgia
Zach Mettenberger 2009 81 Georgia Georgia
Isiah Williams 2006 82 Illinois Illinois
John Wienke 2008 80 Iowa Illinois
Demetrius Jones 2006 82 Notre Dame Illinois
Jon Budmayr 2009 80 Wisconsin Illinois
Morgan Newton 2009 81 Kentucky Indiana
MarQueis Gray 2008 80 Minnesota Indiana
Bubba Starling 2011 81 Nebraska Kansas
Blake Bell 2010 81 Oklahoma Kansas
Steven Ensminger 2006 80 Auburn Louisiana
Jordan Jefferson 2008 80 LSU Louisiana
Devin Gardner 2010 81 Michigan Michigan
Andrew Maxwell 2009 80 Michigan State Michigan
Robert Bolden 2010 81 Penn State Michigan
Moses Alipate 2009 81 Minnesota Minnesota
Logan Gray 2007 82 Georgia Missouri
Josh Freeman 2006 80 Kansas State Missouri
Blaine Gabbert 2008 83 Missouri Missouri
Landry Jones 2008 81 Oklahoma New Mexico
Christian LeMay 2011 81 Georgia North Carolina
Andrew Hendrix 2010 80 Notre Dame Ohio
Braxton Miller 2011 81 Ohio State Ohio
Kevin Riley 2006 80 Cal Oregon
Jeremy Ricker 2006 81 Maryland Pennsylvania
Tyler Smith 2010 80 Maryland Pennsylvania
Zachary Frazer 2006 83 Notre Dame Pennsylvania
Terrelle Pryror 2008 93 Ohio State Pennsylvania
Patrick Devlin 2006 81 Penn State Pennsylvania
Tino Sunseri 2008 80 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Tom Savage 2009 81 Rutgers Pennsylvania
Willy Korn 2007 80 Clemson South Carolina
Kelly Page 2008 80 Ball State Texas
Matthew Stafford 2006 93 Georgia Texas
Jarrett Lee 2007 81 LSU Texas
Zach Lee 2010 80 LSU Texas
Taylor Cook 2008 81 Miami (FL) Texas
Ryan Mallett 2007 85 Michigan Texas
J.W. Walsh 2011 80 Oklahoma State Texas
Andrew Luck 2008 82 Stanford Texas
Jevan Snead 2006 91 Texas Texas
Garret Gilbert 2009 86 Texas Texas
David Ash 2011 80 Texas Texas
Jacob Karam 2009 80 Texas Tech Texas
Phillip Sims 2010 83 Alabama Virginia
Tajh Boyd 2009 82 Clemson Virginia
EJ Manuel 2008 82 Florida State Virginia
Bryn Renner 2009 81 North Carolina Virginia
Mike Glennon 2008 83 North Carolina State Virginia
Tyrod Taylor 2007 84 Virginia Tech Virginia
Jake Heaps 2010 80 Brigham Young Washington
Jake Locker 2006 83 Washington Washington

Per capita

In 2009, 24.3% of the US population of 308 million was under the age of 18, or about 75 million kids (quickfacts.census.gov). The numbers and percentages, obviously, vary by state. Florida, for example, had 21.9% of its roughly 18.8 million person population under the age of 18, or about 4.1 million kids.

Let's start with a simple assumption that any state can produce an elite QB recruit equally. Said another way, how might a state's population determine the likelihood of producing said recruit? This is the per capita argument: Total state numbers (here, elite QB recruits) are primarily determined by that state's population. Let's test this hypothesis.

The table below is a list of States along with their respective youth population (under 18; in units of 1,000). The next column "% of US" is the percentage of all US youth in that state by US total number (approximately 74.4 million ; taken from government 2005 estimates). After that is the total number of elite QB recruits from that state from 2006 to 2011. "% of Elite QBs" is a column to show each state's percentage of total elite QB recruits by the total US number. Finally, the "Rate" column is the fun part: We divide a state's percent of elite QB recruits by its percentage of total under-18 US population. A number here greater than 1.0 means that that state is producing more elite QB recruits than what the per capita line-of-thinking says we should be seeing; lower than 1.0 means you're not producing your fair share.

2006-2011 Elite QB recruit home-state comparison. (Population numbers are in units of 1,000)
State Under 18 % of  Elite QBs % of Elite QBs Odds Ratio
Arkansas 703 0.94% 3 3.57% 3.78
Virginia 1,880 2.53% 6 7.14% 2.83
Kansas 699 0.94% 2 2.38% 2.54
Pennsylvania 2,748 3.69% 7 8.33% 2.26
Florida 4,086 5.49% 10 11.90% 2.17
Missouri 1,411 1.90% 3 3.57% 1.88
New Mexico 479 0.64% 1 1.19% 1.85
Alabama 1,092 1.47% 2 2.38% 1.62
Texas 6,785 9.12% 12 14.29% 1.57
Louisiana 1,172 1.57% 2 2.38% 1.51
California 9,497 12.76% 14 16.67% 1.31
Washington 1,488 2.00% 2 2.38% 1.19
Indiana 1,596 2.14% 2 2.38% 1.11
Connecticut 814 1.09% 1 1.19% 1.09
Michigan 2,487 3.34% 3 3.57% 1.07
Oregon 863 1.16% 1 1.19% 1.03
South Carolina 1,036 1.39% 1 1.19% 0.86
Illinois 3,197 4.30% 4 4.76% 0.90
Colorado 1,189 1.60% 1 1.19% 0.75
Georgia 2,502 3.36% 2 2.38% 0.71
Minnesota 1,290 1.73% 1 1.19% 0.69
Ohio 2,744 3.69% 2 2.38% 0.65
Arizona 1,688 2.27% 1 1.19% 0.52
North Carolina 2,269 3.05% 1 1.19% 0.39
Alaska 184 0.25% 0 0.00% 0.00
Delaware 202 0.27% 0 0.00% 0.00
D.C. 114 0.15% 0 0.00% 0.00
Hawaii 316 0.42% 0 0.00% 0.00
Idaho 400 0.54% 0 0.00% 0.00
Iowa 711 0.96% 0 0.00% 0.00
Kentucky 1,002 1.35% 0 0.00% 0.00
Maine 269 0.36% 0 0.00% 0.00
Maryland 1,406 1.89% 0 0.00% 0.00
Massachusetts 1,484 1.99% 0 0.00% 0.00
Mississippi 759 1.02% 0 0.00% 0.00
Montana 212 0.28% 0 0.00% 0.00
Nebraska 446 0.60% 0 0.00% 0.00
Nevada 665 0.89% 0 0.00% 0.00
New Hampshire 304 0.41% 0 0.00% 0.00
New Jersey 2,088 2.81% 0 0.00% 0.00
New York 4,421 5.94% 0 0.00% 0.00
North Dakota 142 0.19% 0 0.00% 0.00
Oklahoma 895 1.20% 0 0.00% 0.00
Rhode Island 249 0.33% 0 0.00% 0.00
South Dakota 194 0.26% 0 0.00% 0.00
Tennessee 1,479 1.99% 0 0.00% 0.00
Utah 819 1.10% 0 0.00% 0.00
Vermont 132 0.18% 0 0.00% 0.00
West Virginia 382 0.51% 0 0.00% 0.00
Wisconsin 1,319 1.77% 0 0.00% 0.00
Wyoming 116 0.16% 0 0.00% 0.00

Lots of interesting things from this table. First - in case you didn't want to do the math from the first table - we see that #1, #2, and #3 producers of total elite QB recruits are California (14), Texas (12), and Florida (10). Not a shock there. What is surprising is that when we take into account the under-18 population of each state, we find the reverse ranking of those 3: Florida (2.17), Texas (1.57), and California (1.31). Said another way, Florida's rate of elite QB recruit production is 38% higher than Texas' and 66% higher than California's.

Arkansas, Virginia (everyone wave to EJ Manuel), and Kansas produce the top overall rates. Pennsylvania and Virginia are 4th and 5th, respectively, in elite QB recruits, but produce at rates of 2-3 times that of what a per-captia model would suggest.

Conversation Starter: Which state per capita rate of elite QB production surprises you the most over this 5-year period?

And a special gift to you: The data.

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