There’s A Good Reason This South Carolina City Is Known As “Football City, USA”

Rock Hill and its three public high schools have turned out more NFL players per capita than any other city in America.

<p>KPegg/Getty Images</p>

KPegg/Getty Images

High school football is a way of life in countless Southern towns, but only one has earned the right to call itself “Football City, USA.”

With a population of 75,000, Rock Hill, South Carolina, says it has turned out more NFL players per capita than any other city in America.

Each of Rock Hill’s three public high schools (Northwestern, Rock Hill, and South Pointe) have won at least one state championship in football since 2000. Together they’ve produced dozens of NFL players including Gerald Dixon, Tori Gurley, Robert Massey, Stephon Gilmore, and Jadeveon Clowney.

“No other area in the state has produced as much NFL talent, especially when compared to size. I believe the last number was 41 players from Rock Hill who have been on NFL rosters,” Northwestern High School coach Paige Wofford told ETV in 2022. “I have coached across the state from the Upstate to the Lowcountry. Football in Rock Hill is unique because of the importance placed on it by the community and the three high schools.”

Michael Strahan recently paid a visit to Rock Hill for ABC’s Nightline series, Impact. Strahan spoke to 14-year-old J’Zavien Currence, a freshman at South Pointe High School who already has six Division 1 offers to play football in college.

“You’re one of the best wide receivers in the country,” Strahan said. “Is that a lot of pressure because you’re only a freshman?”

“Nah,” Currence replied. “You can’t let the game get bigger than yourself. I don’t think about it too much.”

With Rock Hill’s population continuing to grow, locals expect the city to keep pumping out football stars for many years to come. But that’s not to say that football isn’t fun in York County. Rock Hill’s stellar football program also offers valuable lessons to young athletes, regardless of whether they continue to play after high school.

“We have the opportunity to provide young people with brighter futures than if we did not have those things,”  Strait Herron, a former coach at South Pointe High School, told ETV. “It is important to note that almost every kid that plays football wants to go play in college, but the reality is that will not happen for most. However, with the correct type of leadership, every player in every sport can learn attributes that can help to create future success.”

Keep up the good work!

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