When ESPN The Magazine and RecruitingNation teamed up to shed some light on which states and college programs dominate recruiting (check out this map from The Mag's Recruiting Issue), we had a pretty good idea who would rise above the rest.
The Florida Gators, Texas Longhorns and USC Trojans attracted 157 of the 750 total ESPNU 150 prospects from 2007-11. Of course, those schools didn't have to look very far: The states of Florida, Texas and California produced nearly 44 percent (328) of the available players. While we're not insinuating that these three coaching staffs might as well have been catching blue chips in a barrel, Mack Brown certainly wasn't sweating -- he left the Lone Star State for just four of his 51 ESPNU 150 signees.
But some schools simply can't sit back within their borders and wait for top preps. So we combed through data from the past five years of ESPNU 150 rankings to determine the five programs that fare the best on the trail outside their home states.
Note: You'll notice that teams like the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who signed 34 of 36 ESPNU 150 recruits from outside Indiana, and the Oregon Ducks, who signed 11 of 12 from out of state, are missing. But those schools didn't have much choice but to look elsewhere: just nine ESPNU 150 recruits resided in Indiana during the time frame and only three in Oregon (see sidebar at right).
17 of 22 from out of state, 77 percent
Notable recruit: 2010 Michael Dyer, RB, Little Rock, Ark.
Since Gene Chizik arrived on the Plains in December 2008, he's had the misfortune of facing Nick Saban for every ESPNU 150 recruit in Alabama. (The winner: Saban, 11-3.) So yes, that's a major reason the Tigers have set up out-of-state pipelines.
But you can't argue with Auburn's success in Florida (four recruits), or Chizik's ability to pull recruits from Georgia (five in the past two years) and Arkansas, where he landed the state's top recruit in 2010 (Dyer) and 2011 (QB Kiehl Frazier). Auburn's two ESPNU 150 prospects for 2012 -- ATH Ricky Parks and CB Joshua Holsey -- hail from (where else?) the Peach State.