How To Make It In The NFL – A Data Study

With the 2022/23 NFL season in full swing, OHBets decided to take an in-depth look at the current players in the NFL and their route to the big league. 

We wanted to map out how you should go about optimizing the chances of getting your future offspring into the NFL to get a piece of the action and that ever-increasing salary cap. Keep reading to see what your kid’s chances are of making it to the NFL based on date and place of birth, and their high school and college preferences.

Here are our findings

Top ten states where NFL players are born

The ten states where most of the current players in the league are born:

  • California (189 players)
  • Texas (178 players)
  • Florida (167 players)
  • Georgia (143 players)
  • Louisiana (85 players)
  • Ohio (85 players)
  • Pennsylvania (70 players)
  • Alabama (63 players)
  • Illinois (63 players)
  • North Carolina (59 players)

The states with the fewest players in the NFL:

  • Vermont (0 players)
  • Alaska (0 players)
  • Rhode Island (> 5 players)
  • Maine (> 5 players)
  • New Hampshire (> 5 players)
  • North Dakota (> 5 players)
  • Wyoming (> 5 players)
  • West Virgina (> 5 players)
  • New Mexico (> 5 players)
  • Montana (> 5 players)

CIties where most NFL players are born

The 20 cities where the most current players are born:

  • Houston (30 players)
  • Atlanta (28 players)
  • Miami (27 players)
  • Detroit (26 players)
  • New Orleans (22 players)
  • Philadelphia (19 players)
  • Baltimore (17 players)
  • Dallas (17 players)
  • Cincinnati (15 players)
  • Baton Rouge (14 players)
  • Los Angeles (14 players)
  • Pittsburgh (13 players)
  • St. Louis (13 players)
  • Tampa (13 players)
  • Chicago (12 players)
  • Cleveland (12 players)
  • Columbus (12 players)
  • Fort Lauderdale (12 players)
  • Long Beach (12 players)
  • San Diego (12 players)

Colleges that have fostered the most NFL players

The 20 colleges that have fostered the most players to current NFL rosters:

  • The University of Alabama (68 players)
  • Louisiana State University (58 players)
  • The Ohio State University (57 players)
  • University of Georgia (49 players)
  • University of Michigan (43 players)
  • Penn State University (42 players)
  • University of Notre Dame (40 players)
  • The University of Oklahoma (40 players)
  • University of Florida (38 players)
  • Clemson University (34 players)
  • The University of Iowa (34 players)
  • The University of Texas at Austin (32)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (30)
  • University of Washington (30)
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (29)
  • Auburn University (28)
  • University of Miami (27)
  • Texas A&M University (27)
  • Stanford University (25)
  • Florida State University (24)

High Schools with the most current players in the NFL

  • IMG Academy – 12 players
  • St. Thomas Aquinas – 10 players

NFL player birthdays

Day of the month when most current players were born

Month when most of the players were born

Day of the week when most current players were born

Key findings

  • California, Texas, Florida and Georgia are by far the biggest producers of NFL players. Those 4 states account for 35% of all current players (677). Maybe most surprising to see Georgia on this list, with the three others being the three most populated states.
  • Vermont and Alaska are horrible for ‘breeding’ modern NFL players. 0 of the current players are born in those two states.
  • Atlanta, the 37th most populated city in the US, has produced the second most players in todays NFL, with 28 players being born in Atlanta.
  • The most populated city, New York City, is a bad place to have your kids if you want them to make it to the NFL.
  • University of Alabama is the biggest ‘manufacturer’ of players to today’s NFL, with 68 players being Alabama alumni.
  • No real difference between what month you are born in – is ‘Relative Age Effect’ a thing at this level?
  • Sundays are a bad day to be born if you want to be a professional football player. Only 189 of the players in the NFL are born on a Sunday. Tuesday is the ‘best’, with 324 players being born on a Tuesday.
  • Most players are born on the 9th day of the month (83)

A quick round-up on getting your kid into the NFL

If we consider the future of the NFL to be similar to what it is today, and we’re trying to plan for our future generations to get a head start of making it into the NFL, it could be worth considering this:

Try to have a baby in September. Preferably on the 9th. In California. Or maybe Texas, where there is a better ‘coherence’ between state and city.

If you chose Texas, then go for Huston. You might want to ship your kids of to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida for high school, and hope they can make it to the University of Alabama. This is the most ‘effective’ route – this is the places/days that have produced the most players to the NFL. Competition is probably a lot higher, but the competition probably won’t have optimized their chances by looking at this, so your kid is in for a career in the NFL.

There might be a point of looking at the number of football players in these states compared to the amount that ‘makes it’. It might be ‘easier’ to make it from the smaller stages with less participation – the competition is probably not as fierce. Take a look at these findings, and the full dataset and make a decision for yourself.


When compiling the list of players, we took all players on the 32 teams’ active rosters and the team’s reserved lists as of September 29, 2022 (1913 players), and split it up into a few categories:

  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • High school
  • College

The full data is here.

It has previously been well documented that people born in the first three months of a calendar year have an edge when it comes to making it as a professional, but what else can we deduct from these findings? Is there a state, town or perhaps a high school that fosters many more football players than others? Should you maybe send your kids to Nebraska to attend high school and hope and pray for a spot at a D1 college program in Texas?

The different schools obviously have different programs tailored to different sports, but if you want to pave the way for your future generations to make it to the NFL, there might be some sense in following the path of the players in today’s league.

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