No area of the country produces more NFL talent than the Southeast. So it’s no wonder that SEC schools once again cherry-picked the best recruits from their own backyards on signing day. But before we look at where all of this year’s signees came from, let’s first check out which SEC teams were able to stay closest to home.
Below you’ll find the 14 SEC programs ranked according to the percentage of homestate signees they inked yesterday. This can be a little misleading because one school might reach for some lesser-ranked in-state prospects while another school might decide to chase better athletes outside its state’s borders. Still, it’s interesting for the sake of comparison:
|School||Percentage of In-State Signees|
Below is the list of states that produced SEC signees this year, ranked from most to least:
|State||SEC Signees Produced|
|N. Carolina||10 (3.2%)|
|S. Carolina||7 (2.2%)|
|New Jersey||2 (0.6%)|
* More SEC signees came from Georgia than South Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Ohio, California, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Kansas, Indiana, Arizona, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, Colorado and all of the other zero-signee states combined.
* Expect the number of signees from Texas to increase in 2013. When coaches were making connections with players this time last year, Texas A&M was still looked like a Big 12 cornerstone. SEC programs will focus much more on that state this year. Just as more Texas athletes will pay attention to SEC games on television.
* It was a down year in Louisiana which impacted LSU’s signing class and resulted in the Pelican State producing just one more SEC signee than Tennessee.
* The number one non-SEC state for SEC talent? North Carolina produced 10 SEC signees in 2012. Ohio was next with five.
* Year-in, year-out, you can expect the staffs at Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt to do more long-distance recruiting than their SEC brethren. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done — witness Arkansas and Carolina now, Tennessee until the past decade — but it is a tougher slog.
That’s one reason SEC newcomer Missouri plans to send out mass “propaganda” to SEC-region high schools in “numbers you can’t imagine.”