Texas is known as a football state. Kids start at a young age and play the sport through high school and often college. It’s not surprising that many NFL players come from the Lone Star State. In fact, Texas produces more players at a certain position than any other sport.
How many NFL quarterbacks are from Texas?
There are 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL at any given time. Of the current crop, nearly one-third are from Texas. Heading into this season, the state boasted 10 starting quarterbacks around the league.
California is in a relatively close second, with seven. Then there’s a pretty steep drop-off. Georgia, Texas, and Ohio are tied for third as they each have two starting quarterbacks on NFL rosters. This means those five states account for 23 of the 32 starters in the league.
Some of the best Texas quarterbacks in the NFL
The list of Texan quarterbacks currently in the league includes pretty big names, and one — Houston native Andrew Luck — retired just before the season began. Lions starter Matthew Stafford is from the Dallas area. Concerning the very best NFL quarterbacks, however, Texas is still in the league.
The Austin, Texas native is currently out of action as he recovers from a thumb injury, but he still has one of the best careers of active quarterbacks.
In his 19-year career, Drew Brees is just shy of 75,000 passing yards — a mark he will likely pass the next time he plays — and has thrown 522 touchdown passes, which is the third-most in league history. He led the Saints to victory in Super Bowl XLIV and won the Super Bowl MVP award.
The reigning MVP is from Whitehouse, Texas. In his second season as a starter, Patrick Mahomes is quickly building an impressive resume. He was a unanimous MVP last season after throwing for more than 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns.
Mahomes is expected to miss a few weeks of action while recovering from a dislocated kneecap, but he’s already thrown for nearly 2200 yards and 15 touchdowns in seven games — an expected regression from 2018 but still good numbers for a QB in his second season.
Another Austin-based quarterback, Nick Foles isn’t at the same level as Brees or Mahomes, but he’s had some shining moments, none more so than when he led the Eagles to victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, earning Super Bowl MVP in the process.
Foles signed a big free-agent contract with the Jaguars in the offseason. He was expected to start this season, but he suffered a broken collarbone in Week 1 that’s kept him out of action since then.
Why are so many quarterbacks from Texas?
Many reasons may explain why so many quarterbacks hail from Texas. One is the population, as only California has more residents than Texas. The state’s love of the sport, which causes kids to start playing at such a young age, is another possible explanation.
A couple of coaches also get some credit for the phenomenon. In the 1980s and ’90s, Art Briles began tinkering with spreading the field and passing more to get the ball to playmakers in space. In the 2000s, then-Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach adopted an Air Raid offense that made the spread offense more mainstream, and it required good passers, which there were plenty of in Texas.