When the National Football League kicked-off the 2021 season last weekend, there were more former Florida high school football players on Kickoff Weekend rosters than any other state.
According to a news release from the NFL, there were 192 Floridians spread across 32 team rosters. Texas had the second most players with 189, followed by California with 168 and Georgia with 124.
STATES WITH MOST NFL PLAYERS
|State||NFL Players||State||NFL Players|
There were 19 players from Miami, Florida high schools on Kickoff Weekend rosters, the most of any city. Houston produced the second-most players in 2021 (18), after leading the NFL with 24 players last year. New Orleans ranked third this year with 15 players.
One of the players from Miami is 2020 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award winner and Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, whose Miami Northwestern Senior High School is one of four schools with more than five NFL players on Kickoff Weekend rosters.
“It challenged you because everyone was talented,” said Bridgewater on how playing football in Florida prepared him for the NFL. “Every neighborhood, you go out and play sandlot football, you go play organized football and the talent level is there. In high school you’re going against some of the best athletes in the country. I think that prepared me for where I am today.”
HIGH SCHOOL CITIES WITH MOST NFL PLAYERS
|Hometown||NFL Players||Hometown||NFL Players|
|Miami, FL||19||Jacksonville, FL||12|
|Houston, TX||18||Philadelphia, PA||12|
|New Orleans, LA||15||Plantation, FL||12|
|Detroit, MI||14||Cleveland, OH||11|
|Bradenton, FL||12||Tampa, FL||11|
|Cincinnati, OH||12||Richmond, VA||10|
|Fort Lauderdale, FL||12||St. Louis, MO||10|
IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, produced the most NFL players on 2021 NFL Kickoff Weekend rosters. South Florida continues to produce a plethora of NFL talent as well, as three of the four high schools with the most NFL players each hail from the region. Fort Lauderdale’s Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, with 11 individuals, had led the nation in players on NFL Kickoff rosters in eight of the past nine seasons (2012, 2014-20). It tied for the lead in 2013.
HIGH SCHOOLS WITH THE MOST NFL PLAYERS
|High School, City, State||Number||NFL Players|
|IMG Academy; Bradenton, FL||12||Andre Cisco, JAX; Grant Delpit, CLE; Robert Hainsey, TB; K.J. Hamler, DEN; Tony Jones, NO; Joshua Kaindoh, KC; Tyler Mabry, SEA; Tre’ McKitty, LAC; Kellen Mond, MIN; Greg Newsome, CLE; K.J. Osborn, MIN; Cesar Ruiz, NO.|
|Saint Thomas Aquinas High School;Fort Lauderdale, FL||11||Damon Arnette, LV; Giovani Bernard, TB; Joey Bosa, LAC; Nick Bosa, SF; Lamarcus Joyner, NYJ; Brandon Linder, JAX; Elijah Moore, NYJ; Michael Palardy, MIA; Josh Palmer, LAC; Wyatt Ray, CIN; James White, NE.|
|American Heritage; Plantation, FL||9||Brian Burns, CAR; Tyson Campbell, JAX; Khalil Herbert, CHI; Isaiah McKenzie, BUF; Sony Michel, LAR; Anthony Schwartz, CLE; Tedarrell Slaton, GB; Pat Surtain II, DEN; Marco Wilson, AZ.|
|Miami Northwestern Senior High School;Miami, FL||6||Tutu Atwell, LAR; Deandre Baker, KC; Teddy Bridgewater, DEN; Artie Burns, CHI; Amari Cooper, DAL; Lavonte David, TB.|
|Allen High School; Allen, TX||5||Bobby Evans, LAR; Jalen Guyton, LAC; Greg Little, MIA; Kyler Murray, AZ; Levi Onwuzurike, DET.|
|Bingham High School; South Jordan, UT||5||Harvey Langi, NE; Star Lotulelei, BUF; Dax Milne, WAS; Dalton Schultz, DAL; Jay Tufele, JAX.|
|Desoto High School; Desoto, TX||5||A.J. Green, CLE; Von Miller, DEN; Jalen Mills, NE; James Proche, BAL; Laviska Shenault, JAX.|
|Stephenson High School; Stone Mountain, GA||5||Mike Davis, ATL; Chauncey Rivers, GB; Preston Smith, GB; Montez Sweat, WAS; D.J. Wonnum, MIN.|
Sixteen high schools had four players each on NFL Kickoff Weekend rosters this year:
|High School; City, State||High School; City, State|
|Archbishop Wood High School; Warminster, PA||Miami Norland High School; Miami, FL|
|Cass Technical High School; Detroit, MI||Norcross High School; Norcross, GA|
|Cathedral High School; Indianapolis, IN||North Shore High School; Houston, TX|
|Don Bosco Preparatory High School; Ramsey, NJ||Plano Senior High School; Plano, TX|
|Imhotep High School; Philadelphia, PA||Saint Louis High School; Honolulu, HI|
|Lakewood High School; Saint Petersburg, FL||St. Augustine High School; New Orleans, LA|
|Long Beach Poly; Long Beach, CA||Westlake High School; Austin, TX|
|Longview High School; Longview, TX||Wylie High School; Wylie, TX|
Overall, NFL players hail from high schools in 47 states and the District of Columbia, five countries – Australia, Belgium, Canada, England and the United States – and a U.S. territory (American Samoa). The totals are based on the 1,725 players on Kickoff Weekend rosters.
NFL PLAYERS PER CAPITA: Louisiana, with one NFL player for every 68,496 residents, leads the list of NFL players per capita. Georgia (one in 86,386) and Alabama (one in 86,626) round out the top three. The national average is one NFL player per 192,145 U.S. residents.
STATES WITH MOST NFL PLAYERS PER CAPITA
|State||Population *||NFL Players||NFL Players Per Capita|
|Louisiana||4,657,757||68||1 NFL player per 68,496 people|
|Georgia||10,711,908||124||1 NFL player per 86,386 people|
|Alabama||5,024,279||58||1 NFL player per 86,626 people|
|Mississippi||2,961,279||33||1 NFL player per 89,736 people|
|District of Columbia||689,545||7||1 NFL player per 98,506 people|
|Florida||21,538,187||192||1 NFL player per 112,178 people|
|South Carolina||5,118,425||43||1 NFL player per 119,033 people|
|Utah||3,271,616||26||1 NFL player per 125,831 people|
|Delaware||989,948||7||1 NFL player per 141,421 people|
|Maryland||6,177,224||43||1 NFL player per 143,656 people|
|United States||331,449,281||1,725||1 NFL player per 192,145 people|