California leads the way in verbal commits


It’s no surprise that California leads the way in total number of high school seniors verbally committed to NCAA Division I programs. However, this year, New York and Texas currently are in the No. 2 and 3 positions, a significant improvement over last year’s finish for each state.

New York finished No. 5 in 2011. Texas was No. 8.

Virginia currently is No. 4, followed by New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia. Illinois and Maryland are tied for ninth. With less than two months until the NCAA Signing Period for soccer, expect plenty of movement among the states, since they remain closely grouped together. In fact, only nine commitments separate co-No. 9s Illinois and Maryland from No. 18 Wisconsin.

Of course, any list of total commitments is likely to be dominated by large states, given the population base. Therefore, ESPNHS also breaks down the states per capita, based on population, and based on the number of NCAA Division I programs within a state.

Here are a few of the highlights:

BIG WINNERS: Georgia, last year’s No. 10, currently is No. 8 among total commitments, only two behind No. 7 North Carolina. Minnesota, which finished No. 28 last year, now resides in 19th position with one more commitment in this class than its entire Class of 2011 haul.

ON THE SLIDE: Florida last year had the seventh-most Division I signings, but the Sunshine State is currently 14th, down more than 75 percent over last year.

PER CAPITA: The stae with the most NCAA Division I-bound players relative to its population (with at least two commitments) is Virginia. The state has 35 commitments at this point, which equals to one for every 229,000 people living in the state. The worst ratio per capita belongs to Louisiana, which has only one confirmed commitment in a state of 4.5 million residents.

EXPORTING TALENT: Last year, ESPNHS devised a base formula to show which states are exporting the most talent relative to the number of in-state opportunities for its players. The theory here is that large states with several NCAA Division I programs obviously will produce more Division I boys’ soccer players simply because the recruiting classes tend to be locally or regionally driven. By comparison, states that have few in-state opportunities force its students to look beyond its borders. Last year’s runaway winner was Texas, and the Lonestar State remains No. 1 in the Class of 2012 race. For every one player that commits to one of Texas’ two NCAA Division I programs, the state ships 18 players elsewhere in the country. No. 2 on the list is Georgia, with an export ratio of 8.3 (export) to 1 (instate).

To get caught up on all the ESPNHS Recruiting News, check the following links:

Confirmed Commitments This Week | ESPNHS Recruiting Central

Class of 2012, listed by college | Class of 2013, listed by college

Class of 2012 commitment stories | Class of 2013 commitment stories

Where’s The Talent?

ESPNHS maintains a list of boys’ soccer verbal commitments by state. Currently, California and New York account for 20 percent of all NCAA Division I commitments for the Class of 2012. The following is a breakdown of verbal commitments by state, as confirmed by ESPNHS. The list includes only high school seniors, not transfers or international students. A player’s state is recognized as his place of fulltime residence, not the location of his high school or club team.