Which North Carolina Area Produces the Best Football Players?
The state of North Carolina has always been referred to as a basketball state, but the football has not been too shabby either. According to Pro Football Reference, there are 53 players currently on NFL rosters from the state of North Carolina. There are four main areas in the state that produce major college players. The question is which the best?
Honorable Mention: Asheville
Asheville is the home of teams like A.C. Reynolds and T.C. Roberson who produce solid college prospects. Although this has been a solid area, it doesn’t quite compare to that of the major four areas.
Charlotte has been a hotbed for recruiters for a while and continues to be. Of the NFL’s 53 North Carolina based players, twelve of them hail from the Charlotte area. This area contains powerhouses like Mallard Creek and Butler that are known for putting people in major college programs and even the NFL. Other schools, such as Charlotte Catholic and Concord are not far behind and are beginning to become player factories, as well. Add in the budding success of Union County, a suburban area just outside of the city, and you can see why Charlotte is such a lucrative area for recruiting.
This area has been a stomping ground for in-state teams for a reason. Twelve current NFL players hail from this area. All of the Guilford schools have been very successful, as have Greensboro powers Dudley and Page. Add in schools in the Winston-Salem and High Point areas, such as Carver High School in Winston-Salem and T.W. Andrews in High Point, and this area is talent packed for sure. Add in the fact that K.J. Henry, the No. 2 DE in the country, is in this area and this area is starting to become even stronger recruiting wise.
This area might be considered college ran, but the high school football in the area should not be overlooked. While only two current NFLers hail from this area, this is an area that is quickly on the rise. Wake Forest High School is the current 4A state champion and has produced some very promising prospects, including Dexter Lawrence, who currently plays at Clemson. That’s not the only successful school in Wake Forest, though, with Heritage starting to make noise. Head down the road a bit to Raleigh, which lays host to schools like Millbrook and Sanderson who are loaded with D1 prospects. Then there’s the Durham/Chapel Hill area. Schools like Hillside and Riverside are beginning to produce D1 prospects, including guys like Jamal Currie-Elliott who’s heading to Oregon. Add in Orange High School right down the road in Hillsborough and you can see why this area is quickly on the rise among recruiters.
This is another area on the rise, but there is a bit of background here already. Four current NFLers trace their roots back to area. In the town of Fayetteville alone, you have high schools such as Terry Stanford and Cape Fear who are producing D1 players just about every year. Head west on 74 and you’ll hit Laurinburg and Rockingham. In Laurinburg, Scotland County High School is rolling out multiple D1 players every year. This year, Scotland County boast the nation’s No. 1 RB in the country, Zamir White. Rockingham is host to Richmond High School, which has produced two of the current NFL players from the area and continues to be on of the state better programs.
So Which Area Takes the Cake?
The first one eliminated is the Triangle Area. While the area is growing, it just doesn’t have the rèsumè that the others do.
The next one eliminated is the Fayetteville area. This is a strong area to recruit, but Charlotte and Greensboro are just too strong for Fayetteville to beat out.
That leaves Charlotte and Greensboro. Both have a very strong presence in the NFL with 24 of the 53 North Carolina NFL players coming from these two areas. Both have extremely promising futures with multiple top tier prospects going D1. Where I give the edge is in the number of schools. The amount of schools in the Charlotte area is much than in the Greensboro area. This, in my opinion, gives Greensboro a slight edge.