Data: Bulls boast nation's most localized roster
If the Bulls wish to argue their roster contains more local flavor than any other team in the nation, they now have hard data to support their case.
Jake Sharpless, a marketing manager for New York-based secondary ticket marketplace Rukkus, recently compiled a study of all 128 Division I rosters that statistically illustrates USF's emphasis on recruiting the bay area. According to his data, the average distance from hometown to school is slightly more than 128 miles for Bulls players.
That's the shortest distance of any Division I program.
"I went to school at the University of Miami, so you'd always hear about the State of Miami, and keeping it as close to the vest as possible," said Sharpless, a 2008 UM graduate who grew up in Boston.
"I wanted to actually take like, a data-driven approach to it. So I took...over 13,000 players who are listed on rosters for the upcoming season, and put it into some spreadsheets, and this is some of the stuff that got spit back out."
Of the 105 players on USF's latest roster, 94 list a Florida hometown. Thirty-four hail from the bay area (Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco or Pinellas counties), with nine more from Sarasota or Manatee County, and five from Polk County.
"I tried to make it as visual as possible and also as data-driven as possible," Sharpless said. "It just so happens that, to my surprise, USF was the smallest radius -- if you want to call it that -- in terms of how far players travel to go to school."
Sharpless' analysis, which can be found at this link, also revealed more than one-third of all current Division I players hail from either Texas, Florida or California, with Texas (13.4 percent) leading the way.
Broken down to conferences, the shortest average distance from a player's hometown to school belongs to Conference USA (282.20 miles).
A look at the average distance a player travels from hometown to school for the state's Division I football programs, according to data compiled by Jake Sharpless (distance computed in miles)