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Five-Star Geography: Breaking down five trends at QB

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals100 | Position | Team | State

There have been 44 five-star quarterbacks in Rivals history dating back to 2002. Today, we ask National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell five questions about the position after analyzing some surprising numbers and breaking down the states.

RELATED: Ranking the QBs at the Five-Star Challenge

1. Only 10 states have produced multiple five-stars. Only four states - California, Florida, Georgia and Texas - have more than three. Are you surprised more places haven’t developed more five-star quarterbacks?

D.J. Uiagalelei
D.J. Uiagalelei (Nick Lucero/

Overview: California leads the way with 10 five-star quarterbacks in Rivals history including No. 1 overall prospect D.J. Uiagalelei, a Clemson commit, this recruiting cycle. Georgia has now surged to second place with seven, with all of them coming in recent years. Texas has had six and Florida has had four, although two of them transferred into Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy.

Farrell’s take: Yes, I’m a bit surprised that we don’t have more states that have produced at least three five-star quarterbacks. We expect this from California, Florida, Texas and now Georgia, but I would think others states like Ohio, Louisiana and perhaps a few others would have done it as well.

With Florida, it’s about athletic quarterbacks for the most part while Texas and especially California are known for great quarterback coaches and development systems. Georgia has now added some amazing quarterback coaches as well and Florida is on the come up as well, but where are these other states?

2. Can Georgia stake its claim as the state that has produced the best - and least bust-worthy - candidates?

Brock Vandagriff
Brock Vandagriff (

Overview: Cam Newton and Deshaun Watson are having tremendous NFL careers. Georgia’s Jake Fromm could be on his way to a Heisman Trophy, a College Football Playoff berth and almost definitely a first-round NFL Draft grade. Former No. 1 overall recruit Trevor Lawrence could become the first pick two years from now. Brock Vandagriff is the early No. 1 prospect in the 2021 class.

Farrell’s take: Georgia has emerged as the best producer of five-star quarterbacks and it has all happened recently. The high school programs have done a better job with quarterbacks and the quarterback gurus who work with the kids have become a huge part of the development. Georgia has been the fastest-rising state in the country for talent since around 2012 or so and quarterbacks have been a big part of that. And there are some 2022 and 2023 quarterbacks already in the state to keep an eye out for. Georgia has replaced California as the place to develop five-star quarterbacks.

3. Are you surprised by the high bust rate for quarterbacks in California and does that change your thinking at all when it comes to Uiagalelei?

Josh Rosen
Josh Rosen (AP)

Overview: Josh Rosen backed up his five-star ranking and was a first-round draft choice and others had decent NFL careers, but there were definitely some misses along the way as these are the 10 five-star QBs from California with the jury still out on others: Rosen, Ben Olson, JT Daniels, Kyle Wright, Jimmy Clausen, Dayne Crist, Matt Barkley, Mark Sanchez, Trent Edwards and Uiagalelei.

Farrell’s take: I am surprised at the high bust rate, but I still think guys like Clausen, Matt Barkley and Mark Sanchez had good careers in college they just didn’t pan out as NFL players. But with California being known as such a quarterback factory, I’m surprised the guys we tabbed as five-stars have been less than stellar overall as a group. Guys like Wright and Edwards were can't-miss guys, yet they struggled.

Uiagalelei has all the skills to be a great one, and Clemson has done a fine job producing quarterbacks recently, so he’s in good hands. The bust rate from California has zero impact on my thoughts on ranking Uiagalelei as a five-star.

4. If not for IMG, Florida would have only two five-star QBs and one went undrafted. The other was Tim Tebow. Should that state produce more?

Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow (AP Images)

Overview: IMG Academy has skewed the rankings and the proportion of top prospects from the state of Florida, especially in recent years and it’s had an impact on five-star quarterbacks as well. Shea Patterson was originally from Louisiana and Kellen Mond was out of Texas before they finished their high school careers at IMG. Tim Tebow was a five-star lock who has gone down as one of the best college football players ever. But the only other five-star QB in Rivals history to come out of the Sunshine State is Florida State’s Xavier Lee, who went undrafted.

Farrell’s take: The emphasis in Florida is on skill positions and kids tend to gravitate in that direction. Some five-stars like Deon Cain (Clemson) were quarterbacks in high school in Florida but projected at other positions. That’s also been the case in Louisiana with guys like Reuben Randle and Early Doucet. Those two states stand out to me as producing great athletes at the position but not exactly great quarterbacks. Heck, Tebow wasn’t a great quarterback -- he was just a can’t-miss athlete who could sling it. Yes, Florida should produce more but for some reason they just aren’t and it’s the focus on many top athletes playing the position to project elsewhere.

5. Ohio has produced 14 four-star quarterbacks but never a five-star. Did we miss on any?

Braxton Miller
Braxton Miller (AP Images)

Overview: There have been plenty of good quarterbacks from the state of Ohio but never a five-star, although the number of four-stars is really high. Braxton Miller was No. 34 overall but didn’t get the bump to five-stars. Troy Smith, Brady Quinn and DeShone Kizer were some other big names out of the state.

Farrell’s take: I don’t think we missed on any. I guess you could make a case for Smith as a Heisman winner and Miller as a big college star, but neither projected as pure five-star quarterbacks and their careers beyond college show that. Ohio is a state I am stunned hasn’t produced a five-star quarterback and that will change soon enough. The quarterbacks there are talented kids, but the best ones have been raw, athletic playmakers.