Which Schools And States Are The Best At In-State Recruiting?

Which Schools And States Are The Best At In-State Recruiting?

Take a look at some of the numbers at which states are the best at retaining talent and which schools are the best at getting it within those states.

May 29, 2020 by JD Rader
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You always hear college coaches and fans discuss how important in-state recruiting is. I crunched the numbers to find out which states have done the best at retaining the top talent and which schools have been the best at getting it done within those states. I along with the Wrestling Nomad, Andrew Spey, and Brock Hite discussed this topic, and what else needs to be taken into consideration, in the latest episode of Who's #1 the Show, which can be viewed HERE.

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You always hear college coaches and fans discuss how important in-state recruiting is. I crunched the numbers to find out which states have done the best at retaining the top talent and which schools have been the best at getting it done within those states. I along with the Wrestling Nomad, Andrew Spey, and Brock Hite discussed this topic, and what else needs to be taken into consideration, in the latest episode of Who's #1 the Show, which can be viewed HERE.

A few things first: 

1. The following numbers are based on FloWrestling's past five Big Boards. If you would like you can view them by clicking on each year: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.

2. Yes, there are many good recruits that are not in the top 100 of their class that go on to have success. However, analyzing every single D1 wrestling recruit from the past five years is an impossible task.

3. These Big Boards use where high schoolers go to high school as their home state. E.g. Mark Hall is from Minnesota.

4. The following data does not take transfers into consideration. E.g. Rutgers and New Jersey do not get in-state points for Nick Suriano.

5. This is not the cut and dry, be-all-end-all of in-state recruiting. Rather, these numbers are a set of data that are meant to start a discussion. 

Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, let's look at the numbers. First, which states have retained the most top-100 in-state recruits over the past five years percentage-wise?


State% Of Top Recruits That Stayed In-State

Total # Of Recruits

1Oklahoma85%13
2North Dakota66%3
3Iowa65%27
4Pennsylvania56%90
5West Virginia50%6
6Wisconsin42%12
7Missouri40%20
7Virginia40%5
9New York36%14
10New Jersey34%47
11Massachusetts33%3
12Minnesota31%19
13Colorado30%13
14Ohio28%50
14Michigan28%18
16California25%32
17Arizona25%4
17Utah25%4
17Tennessee25%4
20Nebraska20%5
21Illinois16%35
22Indiana14%14
22Maryland14%7

Florida0%18

Georgia0%6

Oregon0%6

Texas0%4

Kansas0%3

Connecticut
0%3

North Carolina0%2

Washington0%2

Montana0%2

Alabama0%2

Kentucky0%2

South Dakota0%1

Idaho0%1

Hawaii0%1

Nevada0%1

New Hampshire0%1

Those Oklahoma boys sure do love their state. An astonishing 85 percent of blue-chip recruits have stayed in-state. #51 on the 2017 Big Board, Brik Filippo, even elected to go to Div. II Central Oklahoma over an out of state Div. I school. 

Another thing to take into consideration is the amount of available Div. I lineup spots available within a state. The only three states, excluding states that do not have a Div. I program, that had more recruits than available Div. I lineup spots were New Jersey, Missouri, and Ohio. If you adjust those three states' percentages for "percentage of recruits kept per available Div. I spot," Ohio's retention would be 35 percent, New Jersey's would be 53 percent, and Missouri's jumps up to 80 percent.

States not listed or interactive on the map did not have a recruit make it on one of the final Big Boards of the past five years.

Now, let's take a look at which schools have done the best. First, we'll take a look at a list of schools ranked by recruit points because we can all agree that not every recruit is equal. These points are a reflection of a recruit's position on the Big Board with more emphasis placed on the top recruits. For example wrestlers 1-3 on the Big Board earn 100, 97, and 94 points respectively. Positions 95-100 all earn one point.


SchoolIn-State Points

Out of State Points

1Penn State442791
2Rutgers33780
3Oklahoma State308413
4Ohio State294494
5Cornell247447
6Minnesota236206
7Pitt20718
8Lehigh18792
9Fresno State1649
10Missouri155194
11Michigan141437
12N. Colorado122
13West Virginia9323
14Iowa State91261
15Princeton86156
15Lock Haven86
17Stanford79168
17Binghamton792
19Drexel7827
20Northern Iowa77149
21Iowa76648
22Wisconsin75297
23Virginia Tech62342
23Utah Valley629
25Illinois6176
26Oklahoma60230
27Edinboro49
28Tiffin48
29Purdue37233
30North Dakota State364
31Indiana257
32Northwestern2289
33American2112
33Chattanooga215
35Columbia201
36Ohio183
36Central Oklahoma18
36Augsburg18
39Cleveland State16
40Rider1435
41Bucknell8
42Arizona State7408
42Harvard7106
42Kent State7
45Clarion620
46Penn4125
47Maryland244
48Nebraska1739

No surprise here. Penn State has won eight of the last nine NCAA Championships for a reason. They have dominated the recruiting trail both in Pennsylvania and nationwide.

All schools not listed above have not picked up a top-100 commit form a wrestler in their state. Now, this might not be their fault. Clearly there are more top recruits available in Pennsylvania than in any other state. So, now let's take a look at a list of schools ranked by the amount of possible in-state Big Board points they picked up.


School% Of Possible In-State Points% Of Possible In-State Recruits# Of In-State Recruits
1Oklahoma State78%54%7
2NDSU65%66%2
3Virginia Tech56%20%2
4Cornell48%27%4
5Chattanooga46%25%1
6West Virginia43%50%3
7Missouri41%40%8
8Harvard39%33%1
9Utah Valley39%25%1
10Michigan33%28%5
11Minnesota29%21%4
12Ohio State26%14%7
13Iowa State25%22%6
14Northern Colorado24%30%4
15Rutgers24%25%12
16Wisconsin21%42%5
17Arizona State21%18%5
18Fresno State19%25%8
19Iowa19%22%6
20Oklahoma15%23%3
21Penn State15%8%7
22Binghamton15%7%1
23Stanford9%3%1
24Arizona State7%25%1
25Pitt7%10%9
26Lehigh6%10%9
27Illinois6%8%3
28Purdue6%7%1
29Princeton6%6%3
30Central Oklahoma4%8%1
31Columbia4%7%1
32Indiana4%7%1
33Tiffin4%2%1
34Drexel3%4%4
35Lock Haven3%3%3
36Northwestern2%6%2
37Edinboro2%3%3
38Ohio1%4%2
39Cleveland State1%4%2
40Penn1%1%1
41Maryland0.80%14%1
42Nebraska0.50%20%1
43Kent State0.50%2%1
44Bucknell0.30%2%2
45Clarion0.20%2%2
46Notre Dame0.10%0.50%1

This set of data paints a little bit different picture with Penn State sitting at #21 and only getting 15 percent of the possible recruiting points and just 8% of the possible top recruits coming out of Pennsylvania. 

So, has Penn State done a better job at in-state recruiting for picking up more extremely high ranking in-state recruits, has Oklahoma State done a better job for picking up a higher percentage of highly ranked in-state recruits, has Rutgers done the best for picking up the most top-100 recruits, or is it somewhere in between and a lot more things should be taken into consideration?