|ESPN.com: Great State Debate||[Print without images]|
In the Great State Debate, five states stand above the rest in the caliber of quarterbacks they produce -- Alabama, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. Here is the argument for why Texas should win.
• No state has come on stronger in the quarterback category in the past 15 years than the Lone Star State. Once better known for producing running backs, Texas high school products now fill the rosters of NFL and major college teams. And now Texas has become a fertile recruiting area for colleges seeking top signal-callers. One of the reasons might be the spread offense that's so popular at high schools and colleges in the state, including at Baylor, where head coach Art Briles' offense, led by Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III (Copperas Cove), put up huge numbers this season. Briles also had high school success at Stephenville with his wide-open attack.
• Texas high schools have produced 17 current quarterbacks in the NFL and numerous starters at major college programs inside and outside the state, most notably at Stanford (Andrew Luck) and Oregon (Darron Thomas). Griffin won this year's Heisman, while Luck was runner-up. Griffin's Heisman win was the fourth for the state. He joined Davey O'Brien (Woodrow Wilson), for whom the national quarterback of the year trophy is named, Ty Detmer (San Antonio Southwest) and Andre Ware (Dickinson).
• In the NFL, there are six current starters from Texas, one behind only California. Drew Brees (Austin Westlake) guided the New Orleans Saints to a Super Bowl XLIV victory and this season set the NFL single-season record for passing yards (5,476). Meanwhile, Matthew Stafford (Highland Park) also topped the 5,000-yard mark this year and helped lead the once-hapless Detroit Lions to the playoffs for the first time since 1999.