I have long argued that Ohio has received a bad rap when it comes to grooming elite quarterbacks.
When your state produces Roger Staubach, Len Dawson, and Ben Roethlisberger among others, it has no reason to hang its head.
The NFL has been around for more than 100 years, and if you really wanted to climb into the time machine you’d find that Cleveland’s Benny Friedman was the first real gunslinger in pro football in the 1920s and ’30s.
According to the website Sidelines, Ohio is fourth among states who have earned the most career wins at quarterback in NFL history.
It gives Ohio credit for Russell Wilson, who was born in Cincinnati, but it doesn’t note Staubach, nor mention Friedman. Still, only California, Texas and Pennsylvania rank ahead of the Buckeye state in this category.
California tops the list as the state that produces the best quarterbacks, with 20 of the top 100 quarterbacks in U.S. history being born in The Golden State.
Tom Brady, the most celebrated quarterback ever is one athlete who hails from the state. Brady has seen 243 wins in his career, with 219 of them being with the New England Patriots. Aaron Rodgers, Warren Moon, and Troy Aikman are some other top quarterbacks who come from California.
With 10 players, Texas is the second state that produces the best quarterbacks. Players from this state include Drew Brees who played for the New Orleans Saints and had 172 wins throughout his career. Other players from The Lone Star State include Bobby Layne and Joe Ferguson.
Behind Texas is Pennsylvania, with nine of the most celebrated quarterbacks in American football history hailing from the state. These include Dan Marino, who saw 147 wins in his career, including 17 seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Matt Ryan, with 120 career wins, and Johnny Unitas with 118 wins was also born in Pennsylvania.
With six of the most celebrated quarterbacks in American football history, Ohio takes fourth place. Roethlisberger, who played for 18 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and had 165 wins throughout his career, is one player from the state.
With five players each, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Washington all tie for fifth place. Some top players from these states include Peyton and Eli Manning from Louisiana, who have a combined 303 career wins, and Denver Broncos legend John Elway from Washington.
Interestingly, Florida (long considered an elite football hotbed) has just one such player on the list, Matthew Stafford.
Larry Phillips is managing editor of Richland Source, Ashland Source and Knox Pages. He has also authored two books on Ohio high School football, Ohio’s Autumn Legends, Volume I and II.