Louisiana football is geaux-ing to the top
Which state annually produces the best high school football? ESPN Rise's editors have pared the field down to eight states. It's up to you to decide which is the last state standing.
The Great State Debate poses a simple question: What state has the best high school football? We've edited the field down to eight. Check out our picks:
Agree? Disagree? Join the debate.
No. 7 seed LouisianaPopulation: 4.3 million
Number of high schools playing football: 375
Pro Football Hall of Famers: Six players, including DE Fred Dean, QB Terry Bradshaw, RB Jim Taylor. (Editor's note: RB Marshall Faulk becomes eligible for induction in 2011).
Heisman Trophy winners: Two, including John David Crow and Billy Cannon
Top current NFL alums: QB Peyton Manning, QB Eli Manning, DB Ed Reed, RB Warrick Dunn, WR Reggie Wayne.
Great schools: John Curtis of River Ridge (Coach J.T. Curtis has 455-48-6 record as team seeks sixth straight state title and 23rd overall); West Monroe (Northern La. power captured five state Class 5A crowns from 1993-2000); Evangel of Shreveport (Eagles were 1999 FAB 50 national champions).
Points of greatness:
• How many states get to play their state championship games the same place where the most Super Bowls have been played? One year, the state finals at the Superdome even outdrew an NFL game played the next day.
• Louisiana's a small state that packs a punch with talent. There are 98 players from the state on the rosters of the top 25 preseason college teams, which represents 3.6 percent of all players on those teams.
• Louisian QBs are the stuff of legend. Peyton Manning and Eli Manning won the last two Super Bowls and other quarterbacks from the state include Terry Bradshaw, Bert Jones and Joe Ferguson.
• In 2003 Evangel Christian went to California to face De La Salle of Concord -- Louisiana teams have game, will travel.
• The New Orleans Saints could be the best team in the NFL in partnering with a state association. The Saints will be sponsoring TV broadcasts this season of one featured game for 10 weeks, plus live coverage of the state championships.
• LSU won the 2008 BCS National Championship and is annually among the top teams in college football. The majority of the Tigers' roster is almost always comprised of Louisiana players.
• Louisiana players know how to overcome adversity. Many of them in the New Orleans area continue to help with the rebuilding of their community after Hurricane Katrina.
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