Interactive map gives breakdown of players’ hometowns — and recruiting battlegrounds
Ever wanted to get a clearer, visually friendly picture of where your favorite team’s players come from?
Wonder no more. Jake Sharpless of rukkus.com is here to help.
If you leave only the Big Ten checked, you can see the league’s results. Some of the results aren’t too surprising — like how each Big Ten team tries its best to make sure the best players in the home states don’t leave the state borders.
The larger cities are a battleground for Big Ten teams, with Michigan and Michigan State trying to beat the other for Detroit’s best players while also keeping out Ohio State and others.
The Philadelphia/New Jersey/New York City area is a total mess as Penn State and Rutgers hope to win “home” turf against others. Washington, D.C. is a fight between Maryland and Penn State.
Florida and California (especially Los Angeles and San Francisco/San Jose) are two out-of-region hotspots. With no Big Ten team obviously based in either location, it’s a go-to area for the big-time national recruiters looking for the big stars and for everyone trying to find a diamond in the rough in the fertile recruiting grounds.
But, not surprisingly, Chicago is the Big Ten’s most interesting spot — and the messiest. You’ve got the in-state schools Illinois and Northwestern trying to keep the city’s players from going outside the state. But you have every other Big Ten school trying to pry away the talent.
Sharpless also looked at the average distance traveled for players. Purdue came in with the highest average of Big Ten teams (16 players from Florida and seven from California will do that) with 541.92 miles while Michigan State had the closest league average with 283.09. For reference, Hawaii had the nation’s highest (1,881.75) and South Florida had the lowest (128.72)