football Edit

Ask Farrell: After NFL Draft, is Texas No. 1 state for HS talent?

Jeff Okudah
Jeff Okudah (AP Images)

The state of Texas made maybe the biggest statement of the NFL Draft weekend as players from there made up 33 picks, clearly leading any other state and providing a look at what could be considered the best state for high school football.

In the first round alone, Ohio State’s Jeffrey Okudah, Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb, LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson, TCU’s Jalen Reagor, Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray, Texas Tech’s Jordyn Brooks and TCU’s Jeff Gladney were picked.

Every round was loaded with players who played their high school football in Texas and then went to college football and dominated.

Former DeSoto, Tex., standout Laviska Shenault went to Colorado and had more than 1,000 receiving yards in his sophomore season. Brooks, out of Houston Stratford, had 360 tackles for the Red Raiders.

Minnesota’s Antoine Winfield Jr., who starred at The Woodlands, had seven interceptions this past season alone. Former Round Rock standout and Baylor defensive lineman James Lynch registered 20 sacks in three years with the Bears, including 13.5 this past year.


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The list goes on and on of Texas high school football players who then go to college and have outstanding careers only to then be picked in the NFL Draft.

Florida is loaded with high school players, and the inclusion of Bradenton IMG Academy has helped draw even more elite players to that state. California is also loaded, especially at power programs like Bellflower St. John Bosco and Santa Ana Mater Dei.


But Texas made a big statement in this draft with 33 former high school players from there. We ask Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell if he believes it’s the best state for high school talent or if other places still hold an edge.

“These things are usually quite cyclical, and we are in a Texas cycle right now. Does that mean it is the best state in producing NFL talent overall? The data would point to Florida and California, based on numbers as recent as 2018, and Florida ran away with the NFL Draft numbers for 2019 over Texas and California.

"The real answer? It’s Louisiana, if you go by population, as no other state comes close to producing more NFL talent per capita. Louisiana is followed by Georgia.

"But when it comes to impact and the recent trend, I’m going with Texas, which boasts players like Patrick Mahomes, Von Miller, Drew Brees and young stars like Myles Garrett, Kyler Murray and others. Like I said, this always fluctuates but give me Texas for now.”