Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Int J Exerc Sci 12(6): 256-262, 2019


This study compared athletic performance differences among high school American football combine participants originating from states of different population sizes. High school-aged American football players (n=7,214) who had participated in athletic performance combines between March 2015 and January 2016 were included in this analysis. Data included combine date and location, school state of origin, football position, class, height, weight, 10-, 20-, and 40-yd dash times, pro-agility, L-cone drill, vertical jump, broad jump, and power push-up. Participants were separated into high- (state population>10,000,000; HIGH; n=2,804), mid- (state population=5,000,000-9,999,999; MID; n=2,911), or low-population (state population<5,000,000; LOW; n=1,499) state of origin. Data were allometrically scaled to account for differences in body mass across high school grade levels and American football positions. All statistical analyses were performed on the allometrically scaled data. LOW athletes performed better than HIGH athletes in the 20-yd dash (p≤0.01). LOW athletes performed better than HIGH and MID in the 40-yd dash, proagility, broad jump, and power push-up (p<0.01). LOW and HIGH athletes performed better than MID in the Lcone and vertical jump (p<0.01). When considering population size, athletes originating from LOW states may demonstrate higher levels of athletic performance in football combine events hypothetically due to more opportunities for sports participation and playing time, leading to greater athletic development. Youth and high school coaches in MID and HIGH states might consider providing more opportunities for playing and individualized coaching to encourage long-term athletic development.