Where does
get its football recruits?
We created an interactive map that shows where every NCAA football recruit has come from since 2002.

Show me college football recruits from

from west to east

Got it!


Scroll down for some analysis

First, some quick instructions on how to explore the map.
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Miami dominates among hometowners. The U has recruited 35 nationally ranked recruits from the city of Miami since 2002, roughly 45% of the city’s total.

No other college has been nearly as successful in recruiting players from a single city. UT Austin has managed to nab 17 nationally ranked players from Houston, TX, good enough for a distant second.
While the University of Miami dominates its city, LSU dominates its state. Sixty-one percent of nationally ranked recruits from the state of Louisiana have ended up at LSU since 2002. No other school captured a higher percentage of top, in-state talent. Alabama takes the second spot, having recruited 50% of the state’s top recruits.
Texas has regressed in recent seasons, but their football program was a force to be reckoned with in the 2000s. That’s all the more impressive considering UT relies primarily on talent from its own backyard. Over 90% of the players in the recruiting classes from 2002 - 2009 were originally from the state of Texas.
Notre Dame
Most powerhouses rely on in-state talent, but Notre Dame does the opposite. Its recruiting pool is the most geographically diverse in the country, with its top recruiting state being Florida, where it only grabs 11% of its total recruits. Pretty impressive for a team that has the second most NFL players ever.
Stanford is a globally renowned university with great sports programs to boot. The school can recruit from virtually anywhere in the country -- and takes full advantage. Since 2002, the average player traveled just over 1200 miles from their hometown to play at Stanford, the highest in the country.


Recruit data comes from Rivals.com.

College locations were scraped from Google search results of a given university’s coordinates.

City coordinates come from this dataset and some manual entry. Only U.S. recruits were included.

Visualization made with D3.js and my hands.

Nerd Notes:

A college’s radius was calculated by finding the average distance (mean) between a college and its recruits’ hometowns. The radius is offset to the left or right based on the percentage of recruits from the west vs. east and offset up or down based on the percentage of recruits from the north vs. south. If 100% of a college’s recruits were from a hometown west of its campus, the radius would be pushed to the left by the size of the college’s radius.

We cut off the states shown in the distribution at a) the sixth largest state or b) the first state under 5% — whichever came first.