Alert eyes scanning the list of incoming Dartmouth recruits in the Class of 2020 noticed something unusual: There isn't a single recruit from Massachusetts, long a hotbed for Big Green players. Nor, those same eyes noticed, is there an incoming freshman from football-rich Pennsylvania.
Surprised, I dug out my collection of press guides (recently augmented to go back to the late '60s, thank you very much) to get a sense of the geographic distribution of recruits over the past 50-plus years. To that end, I sampled the graduating classes of 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015 to see what states were represented. (I probably should have checked the rosters of those players as freshmen because of attrition over their career, but you'll get the idea ;-)
Here's some of what I learned from comparing this year's recruiting class to those seven previous senior classes:
• While there are no incoming players from Massachusetts, there were 15 seniors from the Bay State who stuck with the team over those seven other classes. Every one of the classes had at least one graduating senior from Massachusetts.
• Pennsylvania had 11 seniors on the various rosters, with at least one in five of the seven years.
• The only two states that had at least one player in this year's recruiting class and one senior graduating in every one of the other seven years? California and New Jersey. Connecticut and Florida both missed one year. Texas missed two.
• The Class of 2015 had seniors from 16 different states, the most in the survey. Not counting walk-ons, this year's incoming class has players from 15 states.
• The top states for seniors in the surveyed classes were California (16), Massachusetts (15), New Jersey (14), Connecticut (12), Pennsylvania (11), Illinois (11) and New York (10). Counting this year's freshmen, the top states represented are California (22), Florida (18) and New Jersey (17).
• Georgia is second in this year's recruiting class with five players. There were no seniors from the state in the 1970, '80, '90 and '00 classes but two in '05, two in '15 and this year's bounty. California leads all states in the 2020 class with six recruits.
• Michigan had five seniors in the '70 and '80 classes but none in the other surveyed classes.
• There are 20 states without a player in any of the surveyed classes or this year's recruiting class, and five other classes with just one player in the sample.