Which colleges produce the most future NFL players?
With preseason cuts officially over, we decided to take a look. Obviously these numbers are subject to change -- based on injuries, free agent signings and general roster transactions -- but as of right now, here are the five schools which have the most active players in the NFL.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY SportsTim Heitman
Florida Gators: 38 active players
Notable alums: Carlos Dunlap, DE, Cincinnati Bengals; Joe Haden, CB, Cleveland Browns; Mike Pouncey, C, Miami Dolphins; Reggie Nelson, DB, Oakland Raiders; Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins
Say what you want about Urban Meyer’s time at Florida, but his teams stocked the NFL full of talent. In addition to the players above, Meyer has a number of former players who are still on active NFL rosters, including Brandon Spikes and Maurkice Pouncey, to name a few. A new wave of post-Meyer players like Vernon Hargraeves III should keep the Gators near the top of this list for a while.
(It’s also worth noting, that this list doesn’t even include players who started at Florida but didn’t necessarily finish their careers there, like Cam Newton or Janoris Jenkins.)
Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsKim Klement
Ohio State Buckeyes: 39 active players
Notable alums: Kurt Coleman, S, Carolina Panthers; Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys; Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Carolina Panthers; Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers; Malcolm Jenkins, S, Philadelphia Eagles
It shouldn’t be a surprise the Buckeyes made this list, but what was a bit surprising was how few active players have turned into superstars. Last year, the Buckeyes didn’t have a single former player make the Pro Bowl.
The good news? That should change, as Meyer’s recruits begin to flock to the league, starting with this year’s class which included 12 players overall and five first round picks.
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Florida State Seminoles: 41 active players
Notable alums: Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons; Sebastian Janikowski, K, Oakland Raiders; Jalen Ramsey, S, Jacksonville Jaguars; Xavier Rhodes, CB, Minnesota Vikings; Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Although Nick Saban and Urban Meyer are regularly listed as college football’s best recruiters, Jimbo Fisher is every bit as good and doesn’t get nearly the credit. The incredible output from Fisher has been shown in recent years when the Seminoles had a staggering 18 players selected in the 2013 and 2014 drafts.
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY SportsAndrew Weber
Alabama Crimson Tide: 42 active NFL players
Notable alums: Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders; Ha-Ha Clinton-Six, S, Green Bay Packers; Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons; Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers; C.J. Mosely, LB, Baltimore Ravens
Nick Saban has been a breathtaking recruiter since arriving at Alabama and it shows with 42 active players on NFL rosters. The question? How many more are currently at Alabama, with guys like Cam Robinson, Calvin Ridley and Eddie Jackson projected as high-end pro prospects?
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsKirby Lee
LSU Tigers: 44 active NFL players
Notable alums: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants; Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals; Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins; Tyrann Mathieu, S, Arizona Cardinals; Patrick Peterson, CB, Arizona Cardinals
While Alabama may dominate the Tigers at the college level, the players that LSU has produced at the pro level is simply staggering. Just look at those names: Beckham, Peterson, Mathieu, Landry. It’s incredible.
Also, why is Les Miles, who is clearly an excellent recruiter, on the hot seat with so much talent?