The Great State Debate Day 1

January, 16, 2012
1/16/12
12:09
PM ET
Zach Kline, Jeremiah Briscoe, Jameis WinstonESPN.com IllustrationWhen it comes to producing elite quarterbacks, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Ohio have separated themselves from the pack. From the current crop of high school signal-callers like Jameis Winston from Alabama, Zach Kline from California and


ESPN HS presents the Great State Debate looking at where the best quarterbacks are grown.

For this Great State Debate, ESPNHS has narrowed the field to the final five, researched the numbers and made a case for each state, but this is a debate nobody can argue better than the football fans who hail from the homes of the sport's greatest quarterbacks.

Texas joins Alabama, California, Ohio and Pennsylvania in the debate.

Why will Texas win?

Here's a sample:

No state has come on stronger in the quarterback category in the past 15 years than the Lone Star State. Once better known for producing running backs, Texas high school products now fill the rosters of NFL and major college teams. And now Texas has become a fertile recruiting area for colleges seeking top signal-callers.


Mitch Sherman looks at the education of high school quarterbacks and the influence of 7-on-7.

Here's a sample:

The spread offense has roots in Texas, and by no coincidence, so does the burgeoning popularity of 7-on-7 football, which features no linemen and only the most agile linebackers.


Primarily, it's receivers against defensive backs. And a quarterback, the most important position. Since Texas instituted a state 7-on-7 championship, staged annually in July, the quarterback success rate in the nation's second-most populous state has skyrocketed.

In the 2011 NFL regular season, 12 of 55 quarterbacks to start a game played high school football in Texas. California had 11, and only one other state, Pennsylvania with six, counted more than three. How much of that QB success relates directly to Texans' embrace of 7-on-7 football?

"It's huge," DeSoto (Texas) coach Claude Mathis said. "The crowds we have at these games, it's crazy. For these kids now, that's the only thing you do in the summertime. We're serious about it."

But wait, there's more. Brandon Parker looks at how state rules can have a big impact in development of high school players.

Here's what Brandon found out:

"Not to knock other states, but it's just a different culture," Arlington Martin coach Bob Wager said. "Players are more developed because the commitment is greater."


Another major factor in Texas' favor: During the offseason, athletic teams have a period built into their daily school schedule to use as the coach sees fit. Rather than a PE class, the athletes have a 60-minute block that allows them to do conditioning, practice or study film with their coaches and teammates.video

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