Louisiana is one of the more competitive states in the country when it comes to playing high school football. Some of the most talented players in the country have come from this state, and their careers began to blossom in front of the Friday night crowds in different stadiums across the state. In the south, football is the most popular sport out of the big three in America, which include baseball and basketball. College football makes most of the money and gets most of the fanfare, but the staple of the region as a whole, lies on high school football. Yet, in Louisiana specifically, it is known as a hotbed for recruits to go to Division I colleges, and even players who slip under the radar and walk-on.
Last Year, Louisiana produced the number 1 player in the country in Leonard Fournette. Out of the New Orleans area from St. Augustine High School, Fournette gained a scholarship offer from LSU in the ninth grade, easily solidifying himself as one of the top recruits in the nation at 14 years old. Tyron Johnson, a receiver out of Warren Easton High School, was named the number one Wide Receiver in the country and also chose LSU as his college choice. Many players that come out of Louisiana may not be rated as five-star athletes by some of the top recruiting websites, but they do go on to make an impact in different ways. Tyrann Mathieu who came from the same high school as Fournette, was lightly recruited, and committed to LSU at the last minute. He became one of the most revered players in the history of LSU and revolutionized the nickleback position in college football.
Some of the more popular players from Louisiana that are currently in the NFL, include Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr, who were both highly regarded wide receivers in the 2014 NFL Draft. Beckham, went on to become the NFL Offensive rookie of the year, but before any of those recent accomplishments, he starred at Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans, and became a US Army All-American. Newman was also home to NFL quarterbacks, Peyton and Eli Manning. Both of the Manning’s are Super Bowl MVP’s and former Louisiana High School stars. Zachary High School coach Christopher King said, “I believe athletes in Louisiana can compete with athletes from any state such as California, Texas and Florida. I mean just look at the talent that goes on to college football programs and the NFL as well.” Currently, Louisiana has the most players in the NFL per capita, which is an amazing feat considering the size of the state compared to other recruiting hotbeds.
College coaches all over the nation come to Louisiana each year to find recruits and constantly cash in on their work when the players help their college program be successful within that 4-5 year range in which they are in college. The popularity in high school football in this state, shows no sign of slowing down, so continue to expect big time athletes to show up in the stadiums across the state, on each Friday night in the fall.