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Sunday, November 15, 2009

For NFL Talent—Go South, Avoid New Hampshire

A interesting article from Wall Street Journal. There are a couple of errors in the reporting. There are no players in the NFL from Tonga. Of the 15 Tongans in the league (active, injured reserve, practice squad), three were born in Tonga (Chris Kemoeatu, Ma'ake Kemoeatu, and Taitusi Lutui).

New Hampshire residents can expect to pay very little in the way of income tax. They can expect to have outsize influence on presidential elections, too. But here's something they probably won't be bragging about: The Granite State is one of just two states—the other is Vermont—that doesn't have a single native son playing in the NFL.

How paltry is that? Six NFL players this season hail from American Samoa. Some 20 foreign countries—including Sierra Leone, Tonga, Haiti and the Czech Republic—have a player on an NFL roster.

According to numbers compiled last month by USA Football, the NFL's official partner for youth and amateur leagues, there is one NFL player for every 166,000 Americans. Overall, 48 states are represented. The District of Columbia has seven players and Puerto Rico has one.

Louisiana is the top state per capita, sending 80 young men into the NFL (1 in 55,862 residents). That list begins with the quarterbacking Manning brothers, Eli and Peyton. Mississippi, the birthplace of their father, Archie Manning, is No. 2 per capita with 42 players out of 2.84 million people.

Hawaii and Maryland also make surprise appearances in the top 10 per capita—and finish ahead of traditional football factories like Ohio and Pennsylvania. Most impressively: seven of the 43 Marylanders on the list come from just one high school, DeMatha Catholic of Hyattsville (pictured). They include the Westbrook brothers Brian (Eagles) and Byron (Redskins), Quinn Ojinnaka (Falcons), John Owens (Seahawks), Derek Wake (Dolphins) Josh Wilson (Seahawks) and Edwin Williams (Redskins).

Native Sons

These states have produced the most NFL players per capita.

STATE NFL Players POPULATION (millions)
1. Louisiana804.5
2. Mississippi422.8
3. S. Carolina514.0
4. Alabama534.4
5. Florida 17616.0
6. Hawaii131.2
7. Georgia 80 8.2
8. Texas 179 20.9
9. Maryland 43 5.3
10. Ohio9011.4

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