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Illinois college football fields 3,544 players

Schools

By Prairie State Wire reports | Oct 1, 2018

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Illinois ranked seventh most popular for college football among the 50 states, according to a Prairie State Wire 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

RankStateTotal football participation
1California7,360
2Pennsylvania5,616
3Texas5,273
4Ohio4,762
5New York3,620
6North Carolina3,596
7Illinois3,544
8Iowa3,006
9Kansas2,873
10Massachusetts2,782
11Minnesota2,739
12Michigan2,601
13Virginia2,593
14Missouri2,331
15Indiana2,117
16Georgia2,029
17Florida1,989
18Tennessee1,985
19Mississippi1,938
20Kentucky1,895
21Wisconsin1,828
22Alabama1,728
23Oklahoma1,694
24South Carolina1,549
25Arkansas1,459
26West Virginia1,410
27Louisiana1,388
28Nebraska1,276
29Oregon1,181
30Arizona1,056
31Colorado1,030
32South Dakota1,030
33North Dakota1,021
34Maryland940
35New Jersey909
36Connecticut877
37Utah820
38Montana777
39Washington714
40New Mexico608
41Maine482
42New Hampshire452
43Rhode Island405
44Idaho376
45Washington, D.C.345
46Vermont298
47Delaware294
48Nevada223
49Hawaii119
50Wyoming119

Total91,057
Source: U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education

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