How? I pulled up the college of every player from the state of Florida who was on an NFL roster in 2009.
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And while Miami, Florida and Florida State were, naturally, well represented, the numbers of NFL players that came from other schools was striking.
There were 174 NFL players from the state of Florida in 2009 -- and a robust 86 of them came out of colleges outside of those generally accepted to be college football powerhouses. And some of those 86 NFL players came from downright tiny schools.
That's 86 future NFL players that Miami, Florida and Florida State -- along with Texas, Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Notre Dame, Texas, Auburn and others generally considered among college football's upper echelon who recruit the state -- missed on.
SIXTY-FOUR OF the 86 pros came from Louisville (7), NC State (4), Central Florida (12), Wake Forest (2), Rutgers (2), Iowa (2), Memphis (2), South Florida (4), Kansas State (2), Clemson (3), Pittsburgh (4), Ole Miss, Oregon State, Temple, Colorado State, Maryland, East Carolina, Villanova, Duke, California, Oregon, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Troy, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Purdue, Michigan State, Florida International and Cornell.
Another 22 players from Florida on 2009 NFL rosters went to schools like Saginaw Valley State, South Dakota, Northern Iowa and Morgan State.
SO ALLOW ME TO pose a question... Most Washington State fans of recruiting would not want to see the Cougars to go head-to-head with Miami, Florida and Florida State in recruiting state-of-Florida athletes. But what about the other schools listed here?
Would any Cougar fan not give an enthusiastic endorsement to Wazzu competing against the likes of Wisconsin, East Carolina, South Florida, Maryland -- or any other school listed above -- for recruits from Florida?
THERE'S ANOTHER IMPORTANT SIDE to all this as well. What's listed above takes only NFL players into account. And each and every college football program, no matter who you are, has had a slew of guys over the years who have been outstanding, difference making college football players -- who never went on to the NFL.
How many of those guys went to Wake Forest, Memphis, Temple, Villanova, Troy, Michigan State and all the other schools -- rather than Miami, Florida, FSU, plus any other traditional college powerhouse you want to include.
The number is one helluva lot higher than 86, I guarantee you that.
BUT THIS DOESN'T GUARANTEE, by any stretch, Florida kids who come to Washington State -- including 2011 class members Darryl Monroe, Henry Eaddy, Isiah Myers and Spencer Waseem -- will be undeniable success stories.
The Cougar coaches still have to hit on their evaluations. The players still have to work their tails off and develop into solid Pac-10 college football players. There's a whole lot that goes into that mix of getting from here to there.
But what it does prove, borne out by cold hard numbers, is that an exceedingly deep pool of true future college football talent is chasin' rabbits and wrestlin' gators out there in Florida.
WSU, if they evaluate, recruit and develop that talent, can not only land it, they can also reap large benefits indeed come Saturday afternoons.
Check the numbers and look at those schools again. A whole lot of what is now proven Florida talent doesn't go to the schools many recruitnicks thought they did.
And to claim otherwise is just whistlin' Dixie and a hangin' chad.