The City of Houston has started another pipeline.

With 24 players on Kickoff Weekend rosters, Houston led all cities in NFL hometowns. More 2020 NFL players graduated from high school there than any other community.

That’s no surprise to OTARO ALAKA of the Baltimore Ravens, who travel to play the Houston Texans Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS). A graduate of Houston’s Cypress Falls High School, Alaka knows what brought his hometown to the top of the list.

“When you come from Houston,” Alaka said, “there’s a lot of competition amongst the 5A and the 6A schools. Everyone from Houston knows that it’s stacked, and you take great pride in it. That Texas high school football in Houston – it’s just a hotbed for talent, and there’s going to continue to be a lot of talent that comes out of there every year.”

That talent helped Houston dethrone Miami, which finished second with 19, for the NFL’s top hometown.

Hometown NFL Players Hometown NFL Players
Houston 24 New Orleans 12
Miami 19 Atlanta 11
Fort Lauderdale, FL 14 Philadelphia 11
Tampa, FL 14 St. Louis 10
Detroit 12

While Houston edged Miami for the most NFL hometowns, Florida continued to lead the league in home states. More NFL players (194) graduated from high schools in Florida than any other state, according to 2020 NFL Kickoff Weekend rosters. Texas (192) finished a close second.

State NFL Players State NFL Players
Florida 194 North Carolina 59
Texas 192 New Jersey 57
California 170 Illinois 53
Georgia 134 Tennessee 45
Ohio 71 Michigan 44
Alabama 60 Virginia 44
Pennsylvania 60 South Carolina 39
Louisiana 59 Maryland 39

Specifically, the South Florida region continues to produce a plethora of NFL talent. Individuals who played high school football in Miami (19) and Fort Lauderdale (14) combined to fill 33 slots on NFL rosters last weekend. Another South Florida community, Deerfield Beach, contributed an additional six NFL players.

Fort Lauderdale’s Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, with 11 individuals, again tops the list of high schools with the most NFL players. The school, which also produced Pro Football Hall of Famer MICHAEL IRVIN, has led the nation in players on NFL Kickoff rosters for eight of the past nine seasons (2012, 2014-20). It tied for the lead in 2013.

High School, City, State Number NFL Players
Saint Thomas Aquinas High School;

Ft. Lauderdale, FL

11 Damon Arnette, LV; Geno Atkins, CIN; Giovani Bernard, CIN; Joey Bosa, LAC; Nick Bosa, SF; Phillip Dorsett, SEA; Bobby Hart, CIN; Lamarcus Joyner, LV; Brandon Linder, JAX; James White, NE; Sam Young, LV
Allen High School; Allen, TX 6 Bobby Evans, LAR; Jalen Guyton, LAC; Greg Little, CAR; Kyler Murray, ARI; Cedric Ogbuehi, SEA; Jonathan Williams, DET
Deerfield Beach High School; Deefield Beach, FL 6 Jerry Jeudy, DEN; James Pierre, PIT; Jason Pierre-Paul, TB; Brandon Powell, ATL; Riley Ridley, CHI; Jason Strowbridge, MIA
Cass Technical High School; Detroit, MI 5 Delano Hill, SEA; Jourdan Lewis, DAL; Michael Onwenu, NE; Donovan Peoples-Jones, CLE; Del’Shawn Phillips, BUF
Dematha Catholic High School; Hyattsville, MD 5 Ja’Whaun Bentley, NE; John Lovett, GB; Anthony McFarland, PIT; Rodney McLeod, PHI; Chase Young, WAS
IMG Academy; Bradenton, FL 5 Hjalte Froholdt, NE; K.J. Hamler, DEN; K.J. Osborn, MIN; Cesar Ruiz, NO; Tyree St. Louis, LAC
Lakewood High School; St. Petersburg, FL 5 Dante Fowler, ATL; Shaquill Griffin, SEA; Austin Reiter, KC; Marquez Valdes-Scantling, GB; Isaiah Wynn, NE
Long Beach Polytechnic High School;

Long Beach, CA

5 Jayon Brown, TEN; Jurrell Casey, DEN; DeSean Jackson, PHI; Marcedes Lewis, GB; JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT
North Shore High School; Houston, TX 5 Dorance Armstrong, DAL; K’Lavon Chaisson, JAX; Emeke Egbule, LAC; Trey Hopkins, CIN; Jamal Perry, MIA
Stephenson High School; Stone Mountain, GA 5 Mike Davis, CAR; Bruce Irvin, SEA; Preston Smith, GB; Montez Sweat, WAS; D.J. Wonnum, MIN

Thirteen high schools had four players each on NFL Kickoff Weekend rosters this year:

High School; City, State NFL Players High School; City, State NFL Players
Desoto High School; Desoto, TX 4 Peachtree Ridge High School; Suwanee, GA 4
Glenville High School; Cleveland 4 Pickerington High School; Pickerington, OH 4
Grant High School; Sacramento 4 Saint Louis High School; Honolulu 4
Immokalee High School; Immokalee, FL 4 Tucker High School; Tucker, GA 4
Lawrence Elkins High School; Sugar Land, TX 4 Westlake High School; Austin, TX 4
Norcross High School; Norcross, GA 4 West Monroe High School; Monroe, LA 4
Norland High School; Miami 4

Overall, NFL players hail from high schools in 46 states and the District of Columbia, seven countries – Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Estonia, Germany and the United States – and a U.S. territory (American Samoa). The totals are based on the 1,730 players on Kickoff Weekend rosters.


Georgia, with one NFL player for every 73,952 residents, leads the list of NFL players per capita. Louisiana (one in 78,162) and Alabama (one in 82,409) round out the top three. The national average is one NFL player per 180,447 U.S. residents.

State Population * NFL Players NFL Players Per Capita
 Georgia 9,687,653 134 1 NFL player per 72,296 people
 Louisiana 4,533,372 59 1 NFL player per 76,837 people
 Alabama 4,779,736 60 1 NFL player per 79,662 people
 Mississippi 2,967,297 35 1 NFL player per 84,780 people
 Florida 18,801,310 194 1 NFL player per 96,914 people
 District of Columbia 601,723 6 1 NFL player per 100,287 people
 Delaware 897,934 8 1 NFL player per 112,242 people
 South Carolina 4,625,364 39 1 NFL player per 118,599 people
 Hawaii 1,360,301 11 1 NFL player per 123,664 people
 Texas 25,145,561 192 1 NFL player per 130,966 people
 Utah 2,763,885 20 1 NFL player per 138,194 people
 Tennessee 6,346,105 45 1 NFL player per 141,025 people
United States 308,745,538 1,711 1 NFL player per 180,447 people

*Based on most recent published U.S. Census Data (2010)

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