Which state runs the NFL? Texas, of course

Photo by Trey Pope

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Texans talk a big game about football played in the Lone Star State, but numbers don't lie, and they back up the bravado.

The NFL released its annual breakdown of rostered players in Week 1 for the 2023 season, and to little surprise, Texas is No. 1, producing more players on NFL rosters than any other state with 187. Florida finished second with 178 rostered players, and California came in third at 173 players. The Lone Star State checks in at No. 9 in the per-capita rankings with one NFL player for every 155,858 people in population; Georgia, Louisiana and Alabama were the top three in that metric.

Houston is the state's NFL hotbed, with its high schools producing 16 players on NFL opening weekend rosters — the third-most for any city in America only behind Detroit (19) and Bradenton, Florida (17). Bradenton's place on this list can be explained by prospect factory IMG Academy, which put out more NFL players than any high school in the nation.

Four Texas high schools had four NFL players on rosters in the opening week: DeSoto, Hebron, Lake Travis and Cibolo Steele.

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