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2017 FBS Signees by State

By Barry Every
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Texas’ grip on the top spot in high school football recruiting has come to an end.

Texas’ grip on the top spot in high school football recruiting has come to an end. This past February the Sunshine State set a personal record of 354 high school recruits inking FBS scholarships, while the Lone Star State had a ten year low of 333 DI signees.

Florida was not the only southern state to flex its preverbal recruiting muscles, Georgia finally surpassed California for the number three position. The Peach State had a record 220 high school football prospects sign with FBS colleges. California only produced 210 DI signees this past signing class which tied a ten year low set in 2009. Making this feat even more impressive is the fact that Georgia has approximately one-fifth the population of California.

Rounding out the top ten FBS for the class of 2017 are Ohio (115), Alabama (92), Louisiana (87), Michigan (71), Illinois (68) and North Carolina (68). By region the Southeast produced the highest percentage of signees in the class of 2017 with a whopping 41% of the 2,434 total number. The Midwest had (16.8%), Southwest (15.75%), West (15.38%) and East (11%).

This should not come as a surprise for recruiting pundits; the NCAA came out with a four year report from 2013-16 tracking the number of FBS signees per state based on high school football participation. Florida came out on top with 9.9% of its high school players in that time frame signing FBS scholarships, they were followed by Georgia (8.6%) and Louisiana (8.3%). Rounding out the top ten based on participation rates is the District of Columbia (7.2%), Maryland (6.5%), Tennessee (6.2%), South Carolina (6.2%), North Carolina (5.9%), Virginia (5.6%) and Delaware (5.1%).

Texas and California clearly have the largest number of participants that play high school football annually. But according to the NCAA report only 2.7% of players in Texas during that time period inked FBS scholarship while California was slightly higher with 3.5%.

Texas was not the only state to have a ten year low in the number of DI signees in 2017. Ohio (115) and Pennsylvania (48) also saw ten year lows. Ohio’s previous low was 118 in 2015, in that same year the Keystone State only produced its previous low of 54 signees.

Florida and Georgia were not the only states in 2017 to set all-time marks in the number of signees. Tennessee had a record number of 56 FBS signees, also setting new highs over the past decade where Iowa (20), Connecticut, Oregon (14), and New Hampshire (3). Outside the U.S. borders both Canada and Australia set records with (15) and (4) respectively.

It is too early to project whether Florida or Texas will claim the top sport for the class of 2018. This is a battle that could oscillate for years to come. As far the battle between California and Georgia for the third spot, early indications show that the Peach State should surpass their record setting total of 220 FBS signees in 2017.

We would like to thank Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine for supplying the raw data.

Note: Signees for the Military Academies are not included since they really do not have a limit on the number of players they sign in a given class.