Where They Hail From? NFL Players By School -- Past and Present

With just about six weeks until the 2011 NFL Draft, I thought I would take a quick look here at which universities or colleges have sent the most players to the NFL. Let's first take a look at the all time list, then move on to which schools currently have the most players represented in the NFL. I opted to take the top 25 in each category.

Let's take a look at the lists.

NFL Players By School (All Time)

Rank School No, Players No. Hall of Famers Top Performers (TDs) Most Games Played
1 Notre Dame 503 11 Tim Brown (105) John Carney (302)
2 USC 438 11 Marcus Allen (145) Bruce Allen (296)
3 Ohio State 378 6 Chris Carter (131) Jim Marshall (282)
4 Michigan 332 6 Elroy Hirsch (66) Mike Kenn (252)
5 Penn State 325 5 Lenny Moore (113) Matt Bahr (235)
6 Nebraska 312 3 Irving Fryar (88) Irving Fryar (255)
7 Oklahoma 296 3 Tommy McDonald (85) Keith Traylor (229)
8 Tennessee 290 2 Stanley Morgan (73) Reggie White (232)
9 Pittsburgh 278 7 Curtis Martin (100) Dan Marino (242)
10 LSU 272 3 Jim Taylor (93) Kevin Mawae (241)
11 Miami 272 4 Edgerrin James (91) Jeff Feagles (352)
12 ULCA 272 4 Wendell Tyler (66) Norm Johnson (273)
13 Texas 268 3 Priest Holmes (94) Steve McMichael (213)
14 Wisconsin 264 4 Elroy Hirsch (66) Mike Webster (245)
15 Michigan State 261 2 Andre Rison (84) Morton Anderson (382)
16 Alabama 260 7 Shaun Alexander (112) Chris Mohr (239)
17 Purdue 254 3 Mile Alstott (71) Rod Woodson (238)
18 Illinois 249 5 Bobby Mitchell (91) Doug Dieken (203)
19 Georgia 248 2 Herschel Walker (84) John Kasay (285)
20 Florida 247 2 Emmit Smith (175) Lomas Brown (263)
21 Texas A&M
246 1 John David Crow (74) Jerry Fontenot (239)
22 Washington 240 3 Corey Dillon (89) Blair Bush (246)
23 Minnesota 233 5 Marion Barber (53) Carl Eller (225)
24 Florida State 225 2 Fred Biletnikoff (77) Rohn Stark (223)
25 Arizona State 224 4 Charley Taylor (90) Jim Jeffcoat (227)



NFL Players by School (Active)
Rank School No. Active Players
1 Texas 41
2 LSU 40
3 Miami 40
4 USC 39
5 Ohio State 39
6 Michigan 36
7 Florida 36
8 Georgia 35
9 California 33
10 Tennessee 32
11 Penn State 30
12 Florida State 30
13 Iowa 30
14 Nebraska 27
15 Oklahoma 27
16 Alabama 26
17 Auburn 26
18 Notre Dame 25
19 Michigan State 25
20 Georgia Tech 23
21 Maryland 22
22 Oregon 22
23 Virginia Tech 22
24 Purdue 21
25 Fresno State 21


Just a few quick notes about the lists:

  • It's somewhat interesting to see that despite the rich getting richer, a new batch of schools has made significant inroads in terms of recruiting NFL caliber talent to their campuses. Almost all of them are in the south or the west where the weather's warm and the young co-eds are good looking. 
  • Traditional powers from the Midwest are still doing just fine at producing NFL talent, but schools like Notre Dame, Penn State, and Nebraska have definitely lost a little bit of ground recruiting top-end talent in recent years.
  • How has Pat Hill kept his job at Fresno State? The Bulldogs have pieced together a few good years, and knocked off some notable giants along the way, but for all that talent that has rolled through Fresno in recent years, the Bulldogs have more or less been a disappointment. Something to be said for unselfishness and teamwork I suppose, as many of Fresno State's guys are junior college transfers or guys who are using their collegiate stop as a springboard to make it to the NFL, and little else.
  • You know, I may be a bit biased having spent much of my life in Austin, but Texas definitely gets an unfair label as a school that churns out players that aren't mentally ready for the NFL. Sure Vince Young, Ricky Williams and Cedric Benson come to mind as guys whose attitudes have stood in the way of them maximizing their talent, but there's a boatload of current players that are quietly going about their business in the league, and doing so at a very high level.
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