Louisiana college football fields 1,388 players

Louisiana ranked 27th most popular for college football among the 50 states, according to a Watchdog analysis of college sports participation.

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education collects athletics data annually from all institutions with intercollegiate athletics programs that receive funding through federal financial aid programs. Data for 2016 – the latest year available – includes more than 2,000 schools nationwide.

California is the most popular state for football, with 7,360 players, followed by Pennsylvania (5,616) and Texas (5,273).

In all, there are 91,057 football players for colleges and universities in the United States.

College football popularity rankings

Rank State Total football participation
1 California 7,360
2 Pennsylvania 5,616
3 Texas 5,273
4 Ohio 4,762
5 New York 3,620
6 North Carolina 3,596
7 Illinois 3,544
8 Iowa 3,006
9 Kansas 2,873
10 Massachusetts 2,782
11 Minnesota 2,739
12 Michigan 2,601
13 Virginia 2,593
14 Missouri 2,331
15 Indiana 2,117
16 Georgia 2,029
17 Florida 1,989
18 Tennessee 1,985
19 Mississippi 1,938
20 Kentucky 1,895
21 Wisconsin 1,828
22 Alabama 1,728
23 Oklahoma 1,694
24 South Carolina 1,549
25 Arkansas 1,459
26 West Virginia 1,410
27 Louisiana 1,388
28 Nebraska 1,276
29 Oregon 1,181
30 Arizona 1,056
31 Colorado 1,030
32 South Dakota 1,030
33 North Dakota 1,021
34 Maryland 940
35 New Jersey 909
36 Connecticut 877
37 Utah 820
38 Montana 777
39 Washington 714
40 New Mexico 608
41 Maine 482
42 New Hampshire 452
43 Rhode Island 405
44 Idaho 376
45 Washington D.C. 345
46 Vermont 298
47 Delaware 294
48 Nevada 223
49 Hawaii 119
50 Wyoming 119
Total 91,057

Source: U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education

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