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States to Produce the Most Quality Pass Defenders, Overview and States 1-5: Installment 1

Updated on November 27, 2014
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Larry Rankin analyzes sports, with an especially strong penchant for statistical breakdowns.

For the purpose of our ongoing quest to determine the most influential U.S. states on the game of football, we look to interceptions. The quality mark for interceptions in the NFL has been set at 7. Over the years the 7 interception mark for a season has been met or surpassed 509 times by 353 players from 37 birth states, Washington, DC, Canada, and France.

A great reference for the stats driven sports fan!

For Those of You New to These Databases

Installment 1 contains an overview in the table below: per capita rankings to the left and number of performances produced rankings to the right.

Per capita rankings are compiled by dividing the overall number of indicated performances, in this scenario individual 7 interception performances in a season, by the current estimated population of the indicated birth state. Then the zeros before this number are eliminated to produce a more visually palatable number.

Number of performances rankings are compiled simply by listing the number of performances of each state from most to fewest.

The remainder of this installment and other installments will list each state in order of per capita score and give a detailed statistical list of each player born in said state to meet or surpass a 7 interception season in the NFL. Installment 4 will also include players to meet the mark from Washington, DC and outside the U.S.

Links to other installments of this database can be found in the text box to your upper-right and at the end of this page. Links to other state by state ranking databases presented by Larry Rankin can be found by clicking the Larry Rankin profile in the upper-right hand corner of this page or at the end of this page.

Overview: Per Capita Rank and Performances Rank

Per Capita Rank
Per Capita Score
Performances Rank
No. Performances
1. Louisiana
735
1. Texas
86
2. Mississippi
535
2. California
60
3. Kansas
449
3. Pennsylvania
40
4. South Carolina
335
4. Louisiana
34
5. Alabama
331
5. Florida
28
6. Texas
325
6. Ohio
27
7. Pennsylvania
313
7. Virginia
19
8. Oklahoma
260
t8. Alabama
16
9. Ohio
233
t8. Mississippi
16
10. Virginia
230
t8. South Carolina
16
11. West Virginia
216
11. Georgia
15
12. Arkansas
203
t12. Kansas
13
13. New Mexico
192
t12. Michigan
13
14. Nebraska
161
t12. New York
13
15. California
157
15. New Jersey
11
16. Georgia
150
t16. Illinois
10
17. Florida
143
t16. Oklahoma
10
18. Indiana
137
18. Indiana
9
19. Michigan
131
t19. Arkansas
6
20. Idaho
124.1
t19. Missouri
6
21. New Jersey
123.6
t19. North Carolina
6
22. Kentucky
114
t19. Tennessee
6
23. Missouri
99
t23. Kentucky
5
24. Tennessee
92
t23. Washington
5
25. Illinois
78
t25. Colorado
4
26. Colorado
76
t25. Maryland
4
27. Washington
72
t25. New Mexico
4
28. Maryland
67
t25. West Virginia
4
29. New York
66
t29. Nebraska
3
30. Iowa
65
t29. Wisconsin
3
31. North Carolina
61
t31. Connecticut
2
32. Connecticut
56
t31. Iowa
2
33. Nevada
54
t31. Idaho
2
34. Wisconsin
52
t34. Arizona
1
35. Utah
34
t34. Massachusetts
1
36. Arizona
15.1
t34. Nevada
1
37. Massachusetts
14.9
t34. Utah
1
-- Washington, DC
N/A
-- Washington, DC
5
-- Canada
N/A
-- Canada
1
-- France
N/A
-- France
1
Source

1. Louisiana

Per Capita Score: 735

7 Int Performances: 34

Securely in 1st on our per capita list is Louisiana. Among the many great DBs to be born in Louisiana are 8 time Pro Bowler and Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams and 9 time Pro Bowler and future Hall of Famer Ed Reed, who has met or surpassed the 7 interception mark a phenomenal 5 times.

NFL Record: Ed Reed’s 1,590 career yards on interception returns is more than any other player in NFL history.

NFL Record: Ed Reed’s 107 yard interception return in 2008 is the longest in NFL history. Reed’s 106 yard interception return in 2004 is second on the list.

Louisiana 7 Interception Performances

Year
Team
Pos
Name
Int
Yds
TD
Avg
Lng
Tck
1948
Was Red
DB
Dan Sandifer
13
258
2
19.8
54
--
1980
KC Chief
FS
Gary Barbaro
10
163
0
16.3
39
--
1990
Chi Bear
FS
Mark Carrier
10
39
0
3.9
14
122
1966
KC Chief
RS
Johnny Robinson
10
136
1
13.6
29
--
1970
KC Chief
FS
Johnny Robinson
10
155
0
15.5
57
--
1968
SF 49ers
CB
Kermit Alexander
9
155
1
17.2
66
--
1949
SF 49ers
DB
Jim Cason
9
152
0
16.9
--
--
2004
Bal Rav
SS
Ed Reed
9
358
1
39.7
106
62
2008
Bal Rav
FS
Ed Reed
9
264
2
29.3
107
34
1963
Chi Bear
RS
Rosey Taylor
9
172
1
19.1
46
--
1995
Min Vik
FS
Orlando Thomas
9
108
1
12.0
45
41
1994
Ari Card
CB
Aeneas Williams
9
89
0
9.9
43
40
1996
Cin Ben
CB
Ashley Ambrose
8
63
1
7.9
69
44
2006
Oak Rai
CB
Nnamdi Asomugha
8
59
1
7.4
24
48
1977
KC Chief
FS
Gary Barbaro
8
165
1
20.6
102
--
1951
SF 49ers
RS
Jim Cason
8
147
1
18.4
65
--
1985
Ind Colt
CB
Eugene Daniel
8
53
0
6.6
29
74
2001
Car Pan
CB
Doug Evans
8
126
1
15.8
49
59
1966
Cle Brwn
CB
Mike Howell
8
62
0
7.8
29
--
2004
Cin Ben
CB
Tory James
8
66
0
8.3
23
56
1976
Was Red
CB
Joe Lavender
8
77
0
9.6
28
--
1985
KC Chief
CB
Albert Lewis
8
59
0
7.4
16
74
1963
Chi Bear
LS
Richie Petitbon
8
161
1
20.1
66
--
2010
Bal Rav
FS
Ed Reed
8
183
0
22.9
44
30
1969
KC Chief
RS
Johnny Robinson
8
158
0
19.8
33
--
1983
Stl Card
CB
Lionel Washington
8
92
0
11.5
26
67
1979
KC Chief
FS
Gary Barbaro
7
142
1
20.3
70
--
1976
Chi Bear
LB
Ross Brupbacher
7
49
0
7.0
25
--
1994
NE Pat
CB
Maurice Hurst
7
68
0
9.7
24
53
1961
Den Bro
LS
Phil Nugent
7
77
0
11.0
30
--
2003
Bal Rav
SS
Ed Reed
7
132
1
18.8
54
59
2007
Bal Rav
FS
Ed Reed
7
130
0
18.6
32
29
1967
Den Bro
CB
Goldie Sellers
7
78
1
11.1
47
--
2003
Mia Dol
CB
Patrick Surtain
7
59
0
8.4
32
34
Source

2. Mississippi

Per Capita Score: 535

7 Int Performances: 16

As usual, Mississippi finds itself near the top of our list. With a population of less than 3 million, on a per capita scale the state of Mississippi has produced standout athletes in all statistical categories explored thus far.

Perhaps the most notable DB to come out of Mississippi is Hall of Famer Lem Barney. Barney met or surpassed the 7 interception mark 4 times over the course of his career and finished with 56 career interceptions for over 1,000 yards.

Mississippi 7 Interception Performances

Year
Team
Pos
Name
Int
Yds
TD
Avg
Lng
Tck
1958
NY Giant
RS
Jimmy Patton
11
183
0
16.6
42
--
1967
Det Lion
CB
Lem Barney
10
232
3
24.2
71
--
1964
Den Bro
CB
Willie Brown
9
140
0
15.6
45
--
1969
Det Lion
CB
Lem Barney
8
126
0
15.8
32
--
1958
Bal Colt
RS
Ray Brown
8
149
0
18.6
30
--
1998
Mia Dol
CB
Terrell Buckley
8
157
1
19.6
61
44
1960
Cle Brwn
DB
Bobby Franklin
8
131
2
16.4
37
--
2000
Stl Card
CB
Dexter McCleon
8
28
0
3.5
23
49
1961
NY Giant
RS
Jimmy Patton
8
163
1
20.4
51
--
1966
Mia Dol
RS
Willie West
8
62
0
7.8
31
--
1968
Det Lion
CB
Lem Barney
7
82
0
11.7
62
--
1970
Det Lion
CB
Lem Barney
7
168
2
24.0
49
--
1967
Oak Rai
CB
Willie Brown
7
33
1
4.7
25
--
1983
Chi Bear
CB
Leslie Frazier
7
135
1
19.3
58
--
1962
NY Giant
RS
Jimmy Patton
7
125
0
17.9
45
--
1967
Pit Steel
CB
Marv Woodson
7
49
0
7.0
24
--
Source

3. Kansas

Per Capita Score: 449

7 Int Performances: 13

Jack Christiansen is the most notable name on number 3 Kansas’s list. A Hall of Famer, Christiansen is one of only a hand full of players to have 10 or more interceptions twice in their career.

Otto Schnellbacher also surpassed the 10 interception mark twice in his career, with 11 interceptions in 1948 and 1951. Considering Schnellbacher only played 4 seasons, it is quite an impressive feat.

Kansas 7 Interception Performances

Year
Team
Pos
Name
Int
Yds
TD
Avg
Lng
Tck
1953
Det Lion
LS
Jack Christiansen
12
238
1
19.8
92
--
1948
NY Yank
DB
Otto Schnellbacher
11
239
1
21.7
--
--
1951
NY Giant
RS
Otto Schnellbacher
11
194
2
17.6
46
--
1960
SF 49ers
LS
Dave Baker
10
96
0
9.6
28
--
1957
Det Lion
RS
Jack Christiansen
10
137
1
13.7
52
--
1961
Hou Oil
CB
Tony Banfield
8
136
0
17.0
58
--
1954
Det Lion
LS
Jack Christiansen
8
84
1
10.5
30
--
1956
Det Lion
LS
Jack Christiansen
8
109
0
13.6
33
--
1980
LA Ram
FS
Nolan Cromwell
8
140
1
17.5
34
--
1950
NY Giant
RS
Otto Schnellbacher
8
99
0
12.4
37
--
1963
Hou Oil
CB
Tony Banfield
7
21
0
3.0
14
--
1984
NY Giant
CB
Mark Haynes
7
90
0
12.9
22
--
1945
Phi Eag
DB
Roy Zimmerman
7
90
0
12.9
23
--
Source

4. South Carolina

Per Capita Score: 335

7 Int Performances: 16

With a number of quality DBs over the years, South Carolina comes in 4th on our per capita list. Though South Carolina has no Hall of Famers on their list, players like 6 time Pro Bowler Jim David and 5 time Pro Bowler Jake Scott make for an impressive compilation of athletes.

South Carolina 7 Interception Performances

Year
Team
Pos
Name
Int
Yds
TD
Avg
Lng
Tck
2012
Chi Bear
CB
Tim Jennings
9
105
1
11.7
31
55
2003
Min Vik
SS
Corey Chavous
8
143
1
17.9
39
75
1954
Phi Eag
LS
Bob Hudson
8
89
0
11.1
32
--
1967
GB Pack
CB
Bob Jeter
8
78
0
9.8
25
--
1974
Mia Dol
FS
Jake Scott
8
75
0
9.4
30
--
1999
TB Buc
CB
Donnie Abraham
7
115
2
16.4
55
65
2000
TB Buc
CB
Donnie Abraham
7
82
0
11.7
23
46
1952
Det Lion
DB
Jim David
7
48
0
6.9
15
--
1954
Det Lion
DB
Jim David
7
74
0
10.6
25
--
1956
Det Lion
DB
Jim David
7
4
0
0.6
3
--
1983
NE Pat
FS
Rick Sanford
7
24
0
3.4
16
--
1971
Mia Dol
FS
Jake Scott
7
34
0
4.9
21
--
1978
Was Red
FS
Jake Scott
7
72
0
10.3
39
--
1980
Pit Steel
SS
Donnie Shell
7
135
0
19.3
67
--
1984
Pit Steel
SS
Donnie Shell
7
61
1
8.7
52
--
1995
Pit Steel
CB
Willie Williams
7
122
1
17.4
63
69
Source

5. Alabama

Per Capita Score: 331

7 Int Performances: 16

Alabama finishes our top 5 of states to produce defensive backs with 7 or more interceptions in a season.

Among the standout athletes on Alabama’s list are players like Bobby Hunt, Tommy Morrow, Red Cochran, and Vann McElroy.

Alabama 7 Interception Performances

Year
Team
Pos
Name
Int
Yds
TD
Avg
Lng
Tck
1961
Buf Bill
RS
Billy Atkins
10
158
0
15.8
29
--
1966
KC Chief
LS
Bobby Hunt
10
113
0
11.3
33
--
1962
Oak Rai
RS
Tommy Morrow
10
141
0
14.1
36
--
1963
Oak Rai
RS
Tommy Morrow
9
104
0
11.6
35
--
1947
Chi Card
DB
Red Cochran
8
122
0
15.3
39
--
1968
Cle Brwn
CB
Ben Davis
8
162
0
20.3
44
--
1986
Min Vik
CB
Issiac Holt
8
54
0
6.8
27
--
1962
Dal Tex
LS
Bobby Hunt
8
101
0
12.6
17
--
1983
LA Rai
FS
Vann McElroy
8
68
0
8.5
28
--
1958
Bal Colt
LS
Andy Nelson
8
199
1
24.9
69
--
1948
Chi Card
DB
Red Cochran
7
111
0
15.9
32
--
1966
SD Chrg
CB
Speedy Duncan
7
67
0
9.6
31
--
1964
KC Chief
LS
Bobby Hunt
7
133
1
19.0
59
--
1986
LA Rai
FS
Vann McElroy
7
105
0
15.0
28
--
1980
Atl Fal
LB
Al Richardson
7
139
0
19.9
52
--
1950
GB Pack
DB
Rebel Steiner
7
190
1
27.1
94
--

References

The above statistical data was compiled using NFL.com, Profootballreference.com, and Wikipedia.

If you believe any of the above information to be inaccurate or have any other queries or comments, Larry Rankin invites you to make comments below.

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