The Internet is a wild place where you can find more information than you ever needed to know. There’s a website that has tracked the hometown of every FBS player in the nation, using this data to create various maps, charts and graphs.
It’s pretty neat to see and you can find even more data on the other conferences here.
A lot of Pac-12 recruiting takes place on the west coast, with some prospects sprinkled throughout Texas and Florida. There’s also a pretty decent stretch in the DMV area.
With this new Arizona Wildcats coaching staff, they’re targeting Los Angeles, San Diego, Louisiana, Florida, Nevada and the greater Pacific Northwest. I think we’ll start to see more Texas in this next recruiting cycle.
Below is the heat map for players from every FBS school. Not a whole lot of talent on the west coast outside of Southern California and the Bay Area. Phoenix seems to be holding its own and Tucson is actually recognizable.
Some recruits don’t factor distance into their school of choice, but there are enough out there that make you wonder what Arizona’s talent pool was like if they were closer to the talent east of the Mississippi River.
One could argue that Arizona has the opportunity to take advantage of the guys who want to be close to home, but don’t get offers to or click with Oregon, Stanford, USC, UCLA, Washington, etc. You’re starting to see that with guys like Khalil Tate, Chacho Ulloa, Michael Eletise, Nathan Tilford, Greg Johnson, and so on.
This tracker also went as specific as the distance from hometown to college campus. Hawaii, the Pac-12, and service academies come out with the furthest distances recruits travel to go to school.
You can tell who the local recruiters are, taking advantage of the homegrown talent, particularly the smaller schools in the Midwest, as well as a few SEC schools. Impressive that Mississippi State and Houston really take advantage of that local talent and produce wins.
It is encouraging to see that Arizona can pull talent that isn’t necessarily close to home. That might also come down to the whole family feel of campus that recruits always talk about. Arizona’s success rate of landing a prospect once they take an official visit is unreal, somewhere between 60-70%.
Here’s another graphic showing which states hold the most recruits.
If you really want to play around the interactive map, you can see exactly which schools have been targeting specific cities for their talent. It might cause your computer to slow while it loads.