It is also amazing that other than Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Denver and west Texas there are essentially no FBS football recruits between the Pacific coast and I-35. It will be interesting to see what happens with this as geographical boundaries continue to overlap with the ongoing conference expansion.
In the comments I pointed out that this maps on to overall demography. The Mathlete's map of recuits
is not significantly different from the US Census' map of population density by county:
But demography can't explain everything. Some states produce more football talent per capita than others.
Football Study Hall published a blog post today about Where FBS recruits come from, in which they tracked FBS recruits from 2008 to 2013 in raw numbers and per capita (click to their article to see the raw data). Mapped using Google Fusion, the result is the following (click to embiggen):
Map showing FBS recruits per capita by state
This map illustrates the recruiting advantage of the SEC and the South generally: Lousiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida are all well above average in terms of the number of FBS recruits they produce per capita. Texas and Oklahoma are also above average -- and, unfortunately for UT, so is Utah.
The recruiting advantage of Michigan and Ohio
State is also thrown into relief. Although Michigan is below average in the number of football recruits it produces (0.61 recruits per 100k, vs. the national average of 0.75), the state of Ohio is well above average (1.31 recruits per 100k, 9th in the nation), and is of course a consistent and significant source of recruits for UM and OSU.