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The college football teams that recruited best in each state in 2018, based on the top players signed

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Alabama and Butler Community College each won a state.

College football recruiting is a regional exercise. Who did the best in each state in 2018? Now that National Signing Day has come and passed, we can argue about it. My view:

The rules, briefly:

  • It’s not a scientific exercise. I could’ve just counted up total points on the 247Sports Composite, but that would discount clearly better recruiters who recruit out of state. (For instance, Ohio State wouldn’t get the nod in Ohio, which would be silly.)
  • So if Team A got four of the top five players in State X, that’s convincing enough.
  • Unless otherwise noted, ratings are via the Composite, which aggregates evaluations from across the industry.

How each state got picked:

  • Alabama: Auburn signed four of the top six players in the state, including at least a couple who had serious Crimson Tide offers. Clemson signed the No. 1 player, receiver Justyn Ross.
  • Alaska: Montana State, because the Bobcats signed the only 2018 Alaskan prospect I could find on Rivals: two-star athlete Derryk Snell from Eagle River, the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year.
  • Arizona: Wide open, but Oregon signed the No. 1 recruit, four-star quarterback Tyler Shough. Nobody signed two of the top 10 players, so tie goes to the team that got No. 1.
  • Arkansas: Arkansas landed three of the top six and five of the top nine.
  • California: USC got five of its home state’s top six players. The Trojans continue to be the singularly dominant California recruiters.
  • Colorado: Colorado got three of the top six.
  • Connecticut: Alabama signed the only blue-chip player in the state — defensive back Josh Jobe, a former Miami commitment. The Tide get some solace after not cleaning up their home state.
  • Delaware: Butler (Kan.) Community College landed Grahm Roberts, by far the top-rated player in the state.
  • Florida: Miami got nine of the top 33 players in the most talent-rich state.
  • Georgia: Georgia, obviously.
  • Hawaii: Virginia, amazingly, signed three of the top 11 recruits in the state, with only one Rainbow Warriors signee ranking ahead of any of them. Former BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall’s staff has close ties to the Pacific Islands.
  • Idaho: Boise State signed three of the top five. The Broncos missed out on both of the state’s blue-chips, which made this a tough call. Washington and Ohio State have cases. But I figure Boise State will make its random two-stars into inexplicably good college players who all become quality mid-round NFL picks.
  • Illinois: Extremely open, but Northwestern got two of the state’s top 10 players and five of the top 33. If you don’t just give it to Georgia for signing far-and-away No. 1 prospect Luke Ford, a tight end, the Wildcats are the clear pick ahead of Illinois, which missed the top 10.
  • Indiana: Iowa signed two of the top five and three of the top eight. Notre Dame recruited well but weirdly took almost a complete pass on its home state.
  • Iowa: Iowa, per usual and comfortably.
  • Kansas: Kansas State got two of the top four and also No. 8, slightly outflanking Kansas, which got Nos. 2 and 5.
  • Kentucky: Purdue. What? Yeah. Former Western Kentucky coach Jeff Brohm cleaned up in his old haunt. The Boilers got the No. 1 player in the state, three of the top seven, and five of the top 11.
  • Louisiana: LSU got 10 of the top 16 players in its own state, including the top two and three of the top four. Alabama also didn’t get much out of Louisiana this year, which is a nice bump.
  • Maine: Not seeing any listed commitments in Maine, I award this honor to a lobster.
  • Maryland: The home-state Terps got four of the top 11, but it’s hard to stick them above Penn State, given that the Nittany Lions got two top-five prospects and the Terps got zero. (Maryland wanted both, as well as No. 8, who also went to PSU.)
  • Massachusetts: Boston College got three of the state’s top four (and four of seven) to play there. Outstanding.
  • Michigan: Michigan got three of the top five players in state to stay home. That’s good, though losing your only top-100 recruit to Georgia is bad.
  • Minnesota: P.J. Fleck’s Minnesota did a good job, which included keeping home five of the top seven players.
  • Mississippi: Mississippi State wins decisively, with an assist from the NCAA.
  • Missouri: Oklahoma got the top two, which is better than Ohio State getting Nos. 3 and 6. I’m an especially big fan of Sooners DT signee Michael Thompson.
  • Montana: Montana got the only player with a Composite rating.
  • Nebraska: Nebraska got the highest-rated player, and nobody else signed more than one of the five players with Composite scores. Plus, Scott Frost is the head coach now.
  • Nevada: UCLA claims victory, with two of the top five Nevadans.
  • New Hampshire: Syracuse signed the top-rated player, a three-star offensive tackle.
  • New Jersey: Penn State expanded its territory all around the Mid-Atlantic, including the Garden State’s top two players, while Ohio State and Notre Dame divvied up Nos. 3-6.
  • New Mexico: San Diego State signed two of the top three.
  • New York: Ohio State. The Buckeyes signed the top two players, including my personal favorite tight end in the class, Jeremy Ruckert.
  • North Carolina: Maybe the hardest state to pick. Let’s go with NC State, which signed two of the top five, three of the top 10, and seven of the top 35. That’s narrowly better than UNC, which landed three of the top 12 and four of the top 16.
  • North Dakota: FCS champ North Dakota State got the only two players with Composite scores.
  • Ohio: Ohio State got four of the top five players in the state, devastating as it was to lose the No. 1 kid to the team that had shut the Buckeyes out in the Playoff a year earlier.
  • Oklahoma: Oklahoma got three of the top four.
  • Oregon: Oregon didn’t clean up, but I think the Ducks signing three of the top 10 players still gets them top billing. USC got two of the top six, though.
  • Pennsylvania: Penn State, comfortably.
  • Rhode Island: Boston College got the only Composite player.
  • South Carolina: Clemson boasts the top two prospects and three of the top six.
  • South Dakota: Nebraska got the higher-rated of the two rated players.
  • Tennessee: Tennessee didn’t get any of the top three, but still got two of the top five and five of the top 13.
  • Texas: Texas signed six of the top seven and 10 of the top 13. Sheesh.
  • Utah: Utah got five of the top 12, even though it missed out on the top six.
  • Vermont: There are no listed recruits in the state on either the Composite or Rivals. I award Vermont Recruiter of the Year to Bernie Sanders.
  • Virginia: Penn State got Nos. 1 and 3, which beats out Ohio State’s 2 and 4.
  • Washington: Washington got three of the top five and five of the top 10. (It doesn’t count here, but its transfer pickup of former five-star Jacob Eason right before Signing Day was huge.)
  • Washington, D.C.: Notre Dame signed two of the District’s top four.
  • West Virginia: West Virginia got the top two players, including its far-and-away best, four-star defensive end Dante Stills.
  • Wisconsin: Wisconsin, as is standard.
  • Wyoming: Wyoming signed the lone Composite player.

Agree with this list?

Lol, I doubt it. Let me know where you differ.