Football has strong bloodlines in the red clay of the state of Georgia.
And that tradition of football fandom is only set to increase as colleges continue to add football programs to their athletic departments.
It was announced Tuesday by The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) that five new football programs will be added for the 2012 season, and 17 more will be set to launch from 2013-2015.
Of those 22 colleges, five are in the state of Georgia, which is the highest total number of any individual state.
Point University, formerly called Atlanta Christian College and located in West Point, will launch its football program for the 2012 season.
Berry College in Mount Berry, Mercer University in Macon and Reinhardt University in Waleska will launch their programs in 2013.
Meanwhile, Kennesaw State University, in Kennesaw, is tentatively set to start its football program in the 2014 season.
"It's exciting to see the launch of these programs because they are giving high school players the opportunity of playing at different levels in regions of the country where those options did not previously exist," NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell said in a release. "Football's popularity has never been greater, and the fact that so many schools are embracing it is a testament that more and more college administrators see the value of the sport to a student's overall educational experience."
Kennesaw State and Mercer University will both be a part of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, with Mercer joining the Pioneer Football League and Kennesaw's conference still to be determined.
Point University and Reinhardt University will join the NAIA, with the former joining as an Independent while the latter will become a part of the Mid-South Conference.
Berry College will join the NCAA Division III ranks, as part of the Southern Athletic Association.