The City of Houston has started another pipeline.


With 24 players on Kickoff Weekend rosters, Houston led all cities in NFL hometowns. More 2020 NFL players graduated from high school there than any other community.


That’s no surprise to OTARO ALAKA of the Baltimore Ravens, who travel to play the Houston Texans Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS). A graduate of Houston’s Cypress Falls High School, Alaka knows what brought his hometown to the top of the list.


“When you come from Houston,” Alaka said, “there’s a lot of competition amongst the 5A and the 6A schools. Everyone from Houston knows that it’s stacked, and you take great pride in it. That Texas high school football in Houston – it’s just a hotbed for talent, and there’s going to continue to be a lot of talent that comes out of there every year.”


That talent helped Houston dethrone Miami, which finished second with 19, for the NFL’s top hometown.



HometownNFL PlayersHometownNFL Players
Houston24New Orleans12
Fort Lauderdale, FL14Philadelphia11
Tampa, FL14St. Louis10


While Houston edged Miami for the most NFL hometowns, Florida continued to lead the league in home states. More NFL players (194) graduated from high schools in Florida than any other state, according to 2020 NFL Kickoff Weekend rosters. Texas (192) finished a close second.



StateNFL PlayersStateNFL Players
Florida194North Carolina59
Texas192New Jersey57
Pennsylvania60South Carolina39


Specifically, the South Florida region continues to produce a plethora of NFL talent. Individuals who played high school football in Miami (19) and Fort Lauderdale (14) combined to fill 33 slots on NFL rosters last weekend. Another South Florida community, Deerfield Beach, contributed an additional six NFL players.


Fort Lauderdale’s Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, with 11 individuals, again tops the list of high schools with the most NFL players. The school, which also produced Pro Football Hall of Famer MICHAEL IRVIN, has led the nation in players on NFL Kickoff rosters for eight of the past nine seasons (2012, 2014-20). It tied for the lead in 2013.



High School, City, StateNumberNFL Players
Saint Thomas Aquinas High School;

Ft. Lauderdale, FL

11Damon Arnette, LV; Geno Atkins, CIN; Giovani Bernard, CIN; Joey Bosa, LAC; Nick Bosa, SF; Phillip Dorsett, SEA; Bobby Hart, CIN; Lamarcus Joyner, LV; Brandon Linder, JAX; James White, NE; Sam Young, LV
Allen High School; Allen, TX6Bobby Evans, LAR; Jalen Guyton, LAC; Greg Little, CAR; Kyler Murray, ARI; Cedric Ogbuehi, SEA; Jonathan Williams, DET
Deerfield Beach High School; Deefield Beach, FL6Jerry Jeudy, DEN; James Pierre, PIT; Jason Pierre-Paul, TB; Brandon Powell, ATL; Riley Ridley, CHI; Jason Strowbridge, MIA
Cass Technical High School; Detroit, MI5Delano Hill, SEA; Jourdan Lewis, DAL; Michael Onwenu, NE; Donovan Peoples-Jones, CLE; Del’Shawn Phillips, BUF
Dematha Catholic High School; Hyattsville, MD5Ja’Whaun Bentley, NE; John Lovett, GB; Anthony McFarland, PIT; Rodney McLeod, PHI; Chase Young, WAS
IMG Academy; Bradenton, FL5Hjalte Froholdt, NE; K.J. Hamler, DEN; K.J. Osborn, MIN; Cesar Ruiz, NO; Tyree St. Louis, LAC
Lakewood High School; St. Petersburg, FL5Dante Fowler, ATL; Shaquill Griffin, SEA; Austin Reiter, KC; Marquez Valdes-Scantling, GB; Isaiah Wynn, NE
Long Beach Polytechnic High School;

Long Beach, CA

5Jayon Brown, TEN; Jurrell Casey, DEN; DeSean Jackson, PHI; Marcedes Lewis, GB; JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT
North Shore High School; Houston, TX5Dorance Armstrong, DAL; K’Lavon Chaisson, JAX; Emeke Egbule, LAC; Trey Hopkins, CIN; Jamal Perry, MIA
Stephenson High School; Stone Mountain, GA5Mike Davis, CAR; Bruce Irvin, SEA; Preston Smith, GB; Montez Sweat, WAS; D.J. Wonnum, MIN


Thirteen high schools had four players each on NFL Kickoff Weekend rosters this year:


High School; City, StateNFL PlayersHigh School; City, StateNFL Players
Desoto High School; Desoto, TX4Peachtree Ridge High School; Suwanee, GA4
Glenville High School; Cleveland4Pickerington High School; Pickerington, OH4
Grant High School; Sacramento4Saint Louis High School; Honolulu4
Immokalee High School; Immokalee, FL4Tucker High School; Tucker, GA4
Lawrence Elkins High School; Sugar Land, TX4Westlake High School; Austin, TX4
Norcross High School; Norcross, GA4West Monroe High School; Monroe, LA4
Norland High School; Miami4  

Overall, NFL players hail from high schools in 46 states and the District of Columbia, seven countries – Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Estonia, Germany and the United States – and a U.S. territory (American Samoa). The totals are based on the 1,730 players on Kickoff Weekend rosters.


NFL PLAYERS PER CAPITA:  Georgia, with one NFL player for every 73,952 residents, leads the list of NFL players per capita. Louisiana (one in 78,162) and Alabama (one in 82,409) round out the top three. The national average is one NFL player per 180,447 U.S. residents.



StatePopulation *NFL PlayersNFL Players Per Capita
 Georgia9,687,6531341 NFL player per 72,296 people
 Louisiana4,533,372591 NFL player per 76,837 people
 Alabama4,779,736601 NFL player per 79,662 people
 Mississippi2,967,297351 NFL player per 84,780 people
 Florida18,801,3101941 NFL player per 96,914 people
 District of Columbia601,72361 NFL player per 100,287 people
 Delaware897,93481 NFL player per 112,242 people
 South Carolina4,625,364391 NFL player per 118,599 people
 Hawaii1,360,301111 NFL player per 123,664 people
 Texas25,145,5611921 NFL player per 130,966 people
 Utah2,763,885201 NFL player per 138,194 people
 Tennessee6,346,105451 NFL player per 141,025 people
United States308,745,5381,7111 NFL player per 180,447 people

*Based on most recent published U.S. Census Data (2010)