Which of the 50 U.S. States Produced the Most NFL Players in 2023? Which college sends the most players to the NFL?
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Think about the state that produces the most NFL players. Ideally, you’d look toward a state with robust population, one with appropriate weather for playing the game year-round.
You’d also like to choose a state where high school football is emphasized, encouraging more and more youngsters to play the game growing up. Finally, you’d want a state with a multitude of high-performing college programs at multiple levels so players can continue to hone their craft.
In short, you’d want the state of Texas.
To no one’s surprise, Texas is the state that has produced the most NFL players for the 2023 season at a whopping 187 total players. Assuming a 53-man roster for each of 31 teams, this means roughly 11 percent of NFL players come from the state of Texas.
Continuing down the list, you won’t find too many surprises. Football-mad Florida is just behind Texas, earning second place by producing 179 players on NFL rosters at the start of the 2023 season.
Next up was California, the nation’s most populous state, with 173 players. Georgia and Ohio round out the top five states.
Below is a list of the top-15 states for producing NFL players in the 2023 season:
States with the Most NFL Players (2023 Season)
|State||No. Of Players|
A few takeaways from our list:
Population Is King
The top three states on our list are also the top three states in population. California is the most populous state, followed by Texas and Florida.
Obviously, they finish in different order on our list, but it’s no accident.
Of course, it’s not the only thing that matters. New York is the no. 4 state in population but doesn’t appear in our top 15. This leads to our second takeaway.
The South Shall Rise Again!
If your state doesn’t have a robust population, you can still produce plenty of NFL players per capita – but it helps to be located in the southeastern United States. Just look at these figures:
Georgia: 8th in population, 4th in NFL players
North Carolina: 9th in population, 6th in NFL players
But the most impressive figures belong to a couple of football heavyweights.
Louisiana: 25th in population, 7th in NFL players
Alabama: 24th in population, 8th in NFL players
Despite being smack dab in the middle of the 50 states in terms of population, Louisiana and Alabama are top-10 producers of NFL talent, which speaks to the quality of athletes as well as coaching and program development in those states. Where is the most apparent evidence of this? College football.
Which Colleges Send the Most Players to the NFL?
Colleges that produce the most NFL players have a leg up on their competition now and in the future. After all, a young, talented quarterback is likely to try to follow in the footsteps of Tua Tagovailoa or CJ Stroud than he is to try to forge his own path at an unknown school.
And now for the least surprising news you’ll hear all day: for the seventh season in a row the University of Alabama Crimson Tide has produced the most NFL players on opening-day NFL rosters.
With 57 NFL players, Alabama leads the way as they have each season since 2017.
In second place, we leave the Southeastern Conference to give a nod to the Ohio State University, with 47 players on opening day NFL rosters.
It’s back to the SEC for numbers three and four, Georgia (46) and LSU (43) before rounding out the top five with another Big Ten School – Michigan, with 38 NFL players.
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Here’s a look at the top ten colleges for producing NFL players in 2023:
Colleges with the Most Players in 2023
|School||No. of Players||Best NFL Players from School|
|Alabama||57||Jalen Hurts, Josh Jacobs, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Derrick Henry, Quinnen Williams|
|Ohio State||47||Joey Bosa, Nick Bosa, Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, Marshon Lattimore|
|Georgia||46||Nick Chubb, Matthew Stafford, George Pickens, Jalen Carter, Roquan Smith|
|Louisiana State (LSU)||43||Tyreek Hill, Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, Jamal Adams|
|Michigan||38||Rashan Gary, Aidan Hutchinson, Brandon Graham, Josh Uche, Jabrill Peppers|
|Clemson||37||Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, Dexter Lawrence, Tee Higgins, Deshaun Watson|
|Notre Dame||37||Harrison Smith, Chase Claypool, Jaylon Smith, Kyren Williams, Kyle Hamilton|
|Florida||34||Anthony Richardson, Van Jefferson, Kyle Pitts, O’Cyrus Torrence, C.J. Gardner-Johnson|
|Penn State||33||Micah Parsons, Chris Godwin, Saquon Barkley, Allen Robinson, Donovan Smith|
|Oklahoma||32||Joe Mixon, CeeDee Lamb, Lane Johnson, Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield|
As we see with the very first player listed for our very first school, the new college football transfer rules may complicate such lists in the future. After all, Jalen Hurts played in the College Football Playoff for both Alabama and Oklahoma, and the Sooners have as much a claim to the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback as do the Crimson Tide.
But it’s just as well – it’s going to take a lot of work for any school to catch up to Alabama as the college that produces the most NFL players!
Which Cities Produce the Most NFL Players?
The Motor City isn’t exactly synonymous with NFL success, but for this year Detroit is the city whose high schools produced the most NFL players!
19 NFL athletes – including Defensive Rookie of the Year Sauce Gardner and Super Bowl 52 hero Brandon Graham – played their high school ball in Detroit.
In all, fourteen cities produced 10 or more NFL players for the 2023 season:
Cities That Produced the Most Players
|City||No. Of Players|
|Las Vegas, NV||15|
|New Orleans, LA||10|
|St. Louis, MO||10|
Put it all together – your best chance of making the NFL is growing up in Texas, moving to Detroit for high school, and attending the University of Alabama!
But short of that, it makes sense that the states with the largest populations produce the most NFL players.
And if you’ve seen the College Football Playoff the past five years or so, you won’t be at all surprised to read that Alabama, Ohio, Georgia, LSU, and Michigan are the colleges that produce the most NFL players!