|Super Bowl XLIV MVP Drew Brees is from Austin, TX|
Football and Texas go together like birthday cake and ice cream.
In almost in equal supply, Texas produces cattle, cowboys and quarterbacks. If it seems as though most teams start a quarterback from Texas, it's because they do.
Twenty-five percent of NFL teams now start a quarterback who either played high school or college football in Texas -- sometimes both. Another 10 quarterbacks who played in Texas are NFL backups, one snap away from starting. And that doesn't include Carolina's Cam Newton, who spent one year of junior college at Blinn in Texas.
Texas used to be the main exporter of running backs. But somewhere along the way it shifted its emphasis, and now it exports quarterbacks.
Of players selected in the 2012 NFL Draft by state, Texas placed first with 32 players selected..
Texas' domination was helped by six players going in the top 20 of the draft, and three in the top 10. All three of those players — No. 1 pick Andrew Luck, No. 2 pick Robert Griffin III, and No. 8 pick Ryan Tannehill — were quarterbacks
In Week 2, Houston Stratford High School's Andrew Luck squared off against Colleyville Heritage High School's Christian Ponder. This weekend, Copperas Cove High School and Baylor's Robert Griffin III squares off against Katy High School and TCU's Andy Dalton. Almost every weekend brings a meeting of Texas quarterbacks.
If it's not Luck versus Ponder or Griffin versus Dalton, then it can be Westlake High School's Drew Brees, Big Spring High School and Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill, Highland Park High School's Matthew Stafford, Burges High School's John Skelton or Stephenville High School and University of Houston's Kevin Kolb. On it goes.
The list of Texas-bred backups also is compelling: Texas (Texarkana, Texas) High School's Ryan Mallett, Jim Ned High School's and Texas Longhorn Colt McCoy, Forney High School's Caleb Hanie, Westlake High School's Nick Foles, Ennis High School and Texas Tech's Graham Harrell, Jacksonville High School's Luke McCown, Southlake Carroll High School's Chase Daniel, Robert E. Lee High School's Matt Flynn and Southlake Carroll's Greg McElroy.
Texas always has placed so much emphasis on football. But in recent years, it began emphasizing throwing the football even more. Not unlike young pitchers in California, Texas quarterbacks can and often do throw year round. They are tutored to throw more than ever. They leave high school more prepared than ever, play in college faster and enter the NFL more pro-ready than ever.
It's the reason we're seeing more and more young quarterbacks start -- and make their mark -- more quickly. Much of it can be traced back to the second most populous state in this country...the great STATE OF TEXAS!
Credit: Adam Schefter