I thought this would be interesting. Even if it’s not dispositive I think the numbers do at the very least go along with some well known discussion that happens within the football community – namely that Texas has become more known for offensive players.
I counted up the total percentage of Big 12 players originating from HS programs in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas and compared that to the population percentage of each state represented in the Big 12 (Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Iowa St, Kansas).
The total population of Big 12 states = 37.69 million
Texas population = 26.06 million which is 69% of the total population of the Big 12 states
Oklahoma population = 3.815 million which is about 10% of the total population of the Big 12 states
Kansas population = 2.886 million which is about 7.7% of the total population of the Big 12 states
Iowa population = 3.074 million which is about 8.2% of the total population of the Big 12 states
West Virginia = 1.855 million which is about 4.9% of the total population of the Big 12 states
ALL BIG 12 OFFEFNSE STATS
Total number of 1st and 2nd team offensive players (not counting any returners/special teams) = 26
Total number of Big 12 offensive players that hail from a Texas HS football program = 15/26 (58%)
Total number of Big 12 offensive players that hail from an Oklahoma HS football program = 4/26 (15%)
Total number of Big 12 offensive players that hail from a Kansas HS football program = 2/26 (8%)
ALL BIG 12 DEFENSIVE STATS
Total number of 1st and 2nd team defensive players = 26
Total number of Big 12 defensive players that hail from a Texas HS football program = 10/26 (38%)
Total number of Big 12 defensive players that hail from an Oklahoma HS football program = 5/26 (19%)
Total number of Big 12 defensive players that hail from a Kansas HS football program = 3/26 (12%)
SNAP SHOT COMPARISON
|% of the total pop. of Big 12 territory||% of All Conf. Defensive Players||% of All Conf. Offensive Players|
On a somewhat related note, I’ve always been an advocate of conference expansion that would open up recruiting territory. Putting this post together only reminded me just how small the Big 12 recruiting territory is and certainly how small the unimpeded recruiting territory is. Iowa and West Virginia produce very little if any talent. And while Kansas might produce a few kids – it still isn’t much and it isn’t as though they statistically produce a large number per capita the way a state like Oklahoma does.
Fortunately, our coaches have had the vision to recruit beyond Texas. Coach Montgomery was the main recruiter for Joseph Paul and has been the primary recruiter for Courtney Garnett. Coach Montgomery also recruited Dwayne Orso. Coach Bobby Jack Wright has been to Miami twice in the past couple months alone and plans on going again in the next week or two. And we’re all familiar with the efforts that have been made to continue getting talent out of California.
While a lot of people may have been critical of this strategy early on, it seems clear that our coaches were ahead of the curve. Because of some friendships I have, I’m pretty familiar with Miami area recruiting so I’ll use it as an example. In Miami there is only one BCS school in the area. Miami has a ton of talent but it’s isolated. Even getting up to the in-state schools like Florida and Florida State is a flight for Miami kids. The flight might not be as long as a flight to Norman but it’s a flight nonetheless. Another quality about Miami is that Miami kids tend to want to go where Miami players are. Coach Strong built an incredible pipeline to the city of Miami. I know players from there felt “the ville” was appealing, in part, because there were already so many Miami HS players at Louisville. This is another reason I believe Juwan Dowels is an important addition to our recruiting class. If you want explosive DBs and LBs, Miami is full of them.
I have been told that the desire to expand our recruiting territory was deliberate. I know a lot of folks believe it’s because we just couldn’t get Texas kids. But that isn’t the whole story. Remember, offering a kid isn’t the same as recruiting a kid.