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Jack Freifelder | | September 28, 2017

College football: Schools with the most players in the NFL

  Odell Beckham Jr. (3), formerly of the LSU Tigers, now is a fixture in the offense for the NFL's New York Giants.

Fall means football: Plain and simple. 

And whether it’s the college or the pro variety that suits your fancy, one thing is for sure: There’s plenty of it to take in for the next six months. So cue the trash talk, the quibbles and all the minute details you can handle because football is back.

There’s just something about the game that brings the fervency of fans to a fever pitch. Maybe it’s memories of waking up for tailgates and all the other rituals on college game days, or maybe it’s the promise that the dog days of summer are in the rearview mirror.

Nonetheless, it’s hard to deny the country’s collective penchant for the pigskin.

But who says bragging rights have to end with graduation?

Though only a handful of those playing ball on the college level make it to the professional ranks, those who do serve as a proverbial feather in the cap of their alma maters.

Here’s a look at the schools with the most active players on current NFL rosters.

LSU: The Tigers lead this list with 44 formers players currently earning spots on NFL rosters. Among those names you’d find a slew of former college standouts including: New York Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr.; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry; New England Patriots linebacker Barkevious Mingo; and a pair of Arizona Cardinals defensive backs in Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu.
Most probably know the exploits of Mathieu (known in some circles as the “Honey Badger”) from his ballhawking days in college, but undoubtedly the most well-known student to come out of LSU in recent memory is Beckham Jr.

His one-handed catch against the Dallas Cowboys served as the de facto announcement of his arrival in the professional ranks. And it may just give Tigers fans bragging rights for years to come.

Alabama: When your team has won four of the last seven FBS championships, it probably means one of two things: (1) Your team is pretty darn good and/or (2) your coach is probably Nick Saban. That’s been a recipe that has worked for the better part of the past decade under Saban’s watchful eye.

He has a knack for getting players to buy into the team mantra, and it’s normally to their benefit if they do.

  Don't be surprised if Saban brings the Tide back to the Playoffs in 2016.
Alabama’s defensive players have seen a lot of success on the next level, including 2011 draftees defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (Buffalo Bills) and cornerback Javier Arenas (Kansas City Chiefs), to name a few. But the offense has had its share of good fortune as well, with players like wide receiver Julio Jones (2011 — Atlanta Falcons), running back Eddie Lacy (2013 — Green Bay Packers), and wideout Amari Cooper (2015 — Oakland Raiders) making significant contributions to their respective squads.

Unfortunately, there haven’t been many Alabama signal-callers that have found and stuck with a job in the NFL of late. There’s certainly plenty of pedigree when it comes to the quarterback position at Alabama though (Ken Stabler and Joe Namath — both have Super Bowl rings — once lined up under center for the Crimson Tide), so only time will tell how long it is before that trend is bucked.

Florida State: Coming in at No. 3 on the list of schools with former players in the professional ranks are the Seminoles.

A championship just a few years ago in 2013 has a funny way of turning your roster over, just ask the 11 players drafted into the NFL in 2015. 

FSU had the most draftees of any school in 2015, including: Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston; Oakland Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards; Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Rashad Greene; and Buffalo Bills cornerback Ronald Darby and running back Karlos Williams.

  Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher (right) greets former QB Jameis Winston after FSU defeated Ole Miss.
The Seminoles sent 29 total draftees from 2013-2015 on to the big leagues — a record for any three-year period during the seven-round draft era.

But leaving school does not mean you forget your roots. Just ask Jameis Winston, who most recently could be seen traipsing the sideline during Florida State’s 45-34 victory over Ole Miss.

With another young standout QB under center and talent all over the field, it looks like there could be more of the same for Jimbo Fisher and company in the years to come.


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