football-fbs flag

Tyler Greenawalt | NCAA.com | January 24, 2016

College football stars in the AFC and NFC Championship games

  Peyton Manning played at Tennessee from 1994-1997, where he was a Heisman running-up in 1997.

The best of the NFL square off on Jan. 24 in the AFC and NFC championship games. But before they were pros, these players fought on the collegiate gridiron for a plethora of different schools. Per our complete list from opening day NFL rosters, here are which colleges produced the best NFL talent from the championship teams:

Arizona Cardinals

• Four Clemson players, including kicker Chandler Catanzaro, wide receiver Jaron Brown, running back Andre Ellington and safety Chris Clemons.

• Three USC players, including a pair of quarterbacks in starter Carson Palmer and backup Matt Barkley.

• Three LSU defensive players, including cornerback Patrick Peterson and linebacker Kevin Minter.

Carolina Panthers

• Four Ohio State players, including wide receivers Ted Ginn Jr. and Philly Brown, offensive lineman Andrew Norwell and safety Kurt Coleman.

• Five players who went to Oregon schools: three from Oregon State and two from Oregon.

Denver Broncos

• Three players from Colorado State, three from Florida and three from Tennessee -- which is quarterback Peyton Manning's alma mater.

New England Patriots

• Five players from Rutgers, all from the defensive side of the ball, led by defensive backs Devin McCourty and Logan Ryan.

Here is the full breakdown:

Create bar charts

2021 ACC softball preview: Florida State leads deep conference

Here's our 2021 ACC softball preview, including why Florida State is the favorite to win the conference title.
READ MORE

2021 ACC baseball preview: Led by Louisville, the conference is deeper than ever

The ACC has never been more loaded with legitimate postseason contenders. In fact, all 14 teams in the conference appear to have regional-caliber rosters — in any other year.
READ MORE

2021 ACC football schedule: Games, dates, matchups

This is a team-by-team schedule for the 2021 ACC college football season.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners