Ohio, The Best Football State

Kenneth HawkinsContributor IJuly 24, 2009

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 18:  Ohio State Buckeyes mascot Brutus Buckeye waves a giant flag during the game against the Michigan Wolverines on November 18, 2006 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.  Ohio State won 42-39.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

I heard a sports commentator on ESPN touting the Florida as the best state for football players. 

Recent history may lead him to that conclusion, but his memory is shortsighted.

Since 2000, there are 59 players from Ohio State alone in the NFL.  There are currently 39 active players from Ohio State playing in the NFL.

There were seven drafted and eight undrafted players from Ohio State.  Granted USC had 11 drafted, but the entire state of Florida only had three, from three different universities.  USC gets a number of its players from other states, while OSU gets a vast majority from its home state.  Not to mention Michigan, Michigan State, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, and others pull players from Ohio.

The world champion Steelers have some notable players from Ohio. James Harrison, Santonio Holmes, and Ben Rothesburger. Oh that's right, Holmes came from Florida, but when he got the MVP trophy he said THE Ohio State Buckeyes.  Therefore, Ohio claims him by default.

Urban Meyer, coach of Florida, Les Miles, coach of LSU, and Mack Brown, University of Texas coach, all come from Ohio. My favorite coach Don Shula is from Ohio. 

There is a reason why the Pro Football Hall of Fame is in Ohio.

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I am not trying to denigrate any other states football traditions, just correcting an ESPN commentator.  Feel free to add additional Ohio football lore.  There is not room enough here to tell it all.

I will end with this thought.

The BCS championship doesn't tell the whole story.  I believe inexperience with the spread offence led to Ohio States losses.  A good example was the Patriots vs. Dolphins last year.  The spread offense can make a team look silly.  Bill Belichick has even consulted with Meyer's in the off-season to gain insight into the offense.

The NFL has drafted five receivers from Ohio State, so saying their too slow is bogus.

Jim Tressel and company just need more experience playing the spread, to master it.

PS. Check out this website.



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