While winning championships might be the primary goal for most college football programs, being able to produce NFL talent has never hurt, especially when it comes to bragging rights.
NFL teams released their final 53-man roster for 2020 over Labor Day weekend as they prepare for the NFL's first week. The season begins with Houston at Kansas City on Thursday, Sep. 10.
Out of the 1,696 players on NFL active rosters, 1,512 (89 percent) come from FBS schools. The SEC and Big Ten dominate most of these rosters, as the top two NFL talent-producing conferences combined for 612 of the 1,512 players. The top five schools that have produced the most professional talent come from these conferences as well.
Alabama leads all FBS schools in 2020 NFL players with 56 players on active rosters, highlighted by Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans), Josh Jacobs (Las Vegas Raiders) and rookie Tua Tagovailoa (Miami Dolphins). Fifty-six players also ties last year's mark by Alabama.
Ohio State, LSU, Florida and Michigan round out the top five, with the first non-SEC or non-Big Ten school to appear on the list being Miami (Fla.). The Hurricanes clock in with 30 current players on the initial 53-man active rosters. They lead the ACC with the most players, followed by Clemson with 29 and Florida State with 28.
After the ACC, the Pac-12 comes in as the conference with the fourth-most players on active rosters with 195. The Big 12 is the fifth conference on the list with 133 players. Oklahoma leads the Big 12 with 29 former Sooners in the NFL, while Washington leads the Pac-12 with 28 former players.
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The first team to make the list that isn't in the SEC, Big 10, ACC, Pac-12 or Big 12 is independent Notre Dame. The Irish currently have 29 players on active NFL rosters.
(Note: This list only highlights players on active 53-man rosters, according to NFL team websites, as of Sept. 6. It includes FBS teams and conferences only. It does not include players on the injury reserved lists, COVID-19 opt-out lists, practice squads or the commissioner’s exempt list).
|Conference||Players on NFL Rosters|
Want to know where your school ranks heading into the 2020 regular season?
Check out the full list of FBS schools with active NFL players below.
|North Carolina State||20|
|San Diego State||7|
|Middle Tennessee State||3|
|San Jose State||3|
|New Mexico State||1|
FCS players on 2020 NFL rosters
Here's a look at players from FCS programs who are in the NFL this season, courtesy of Craig Haley of FCS.football
FCS college football has flexed its muscle with 141 former players on NFL season-opening rosters and another 66 signed to practice squads.
There’s no shortage of star power, including the likes of quarterbacks Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles, North Dakota State) and Jimmy Garoppolo (San Francisco 49ers, Eastern Illinois), wide receiver Cooper Kupp (Los Angeles Rams, Eastern Washington), tight end Kyle Juszczyk (San Francisco 49ers, Harvard), left tackle Terron Armstead (New Orleans Saints, Arkansas-Pine Bluff) and linebacker Darius Leonard (Indianapolis Colts, South Carolina State)
James Madison has the most players on 53-man active rosters with seven followed by Delaware, Harvard, North Dakota State and South Carolina State with six each. North Dakota State, the three-time defending national champion, has five players on practice squads, bringing its overall total to 11, the high among FCS programs
All 32 NFL rosters have an FCS player. Twelve of the players will be in action Thursday night when the Houston Texans and Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs kick off the league’s 101st season.
Following are former FCS players on NFL season-opening active rosters:
Cleveland Browns (9): Stephen Carlson (Princeton), Tae Davis (Chattanooga), Jamie Gillan (Arkansas-Pine Bluff), KhaDarel Hodge (Prairie View A&M), Kendall Lamm (Appalachian State), George Obinna (Sacramento State), Larry Ogunjobi (Charlotte), Alex Taylor (South Carolina State), J.C. Tretter (Cornell)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8): Quinton Bell (Prairie View A&M), Cameron Brate (Harvard), Cam Gill (Wagner), Joe Haeg (North Dakota State), Ryan Smith (North Carolina Central), Aaron Stinnie (James Madison), Justin Watson (Penn), Josh Wells (James Madison)
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San Francisco 49ers (7): Kendrick Bourne (Eastern Washington), Tom Compton (South Dakota), Ross Dwelley (San Diego), Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois), Kyle Juszczyk (Harvard), Jerick McKinnon (Georgia Southern), Jaquiski Tartt (Samford)
New Orleans Saints (7): Terron Armstead (Arkansas-Pine Bluff), Nick Easton (Harvard), Kaden Elliss (Idaho), Ethan Greenidge (Villanova), Josh Hill (Idaho State), Anthony Lanier II (Alabama A&M), Adam Trautman (Dayton)
Houston Texans (7): DeAndre Carter (Sacramento State), Dylan Cole (Missouri State), Isaiah Coulter (Rhode Island), Keion Crossen (Western Carolina), P.J. Hall (Sam Houston State), Tytus Howard (Alabama State), David Johnson (UNI)
Buffalo Bills (6): Darryl Johnson (North Carolina A&T), Taron Johnson (Weber State), Taiwan Jones (Eastern Washington), Dean Marlowe (James Madison), Siran Neal (Jacksonville State), Josh Norman (Coastal Carolina)
Denver Broncos (6): Jacob Bobenmoyer (Northern Colorado), Austin Calitro (Villanova), Davontae Harris (Illinois State), Shelby Harris (Illinois State), Sam Martin (Appalachian State), Diontae Spencer (McNeese)
Philadelphia Eagles (6): Dallas Goedert (South Dakota State), Javon Hargrave (South Carolina State), Craig James (Southern Illinois), Rick Lovato (Old Dominion), Alex Singleton (Montana State), Carson Wentz (North Dakota State)
New York Jets (6): Daniel Brown (James Madison), Joe Flacco (Delaware), John Franklin-Myers (Stephen F. Austin), Chris Hogan (Monmouth), Patrick Onwuasor (Portland State), Greg Van Roten (Penn)
Tennessee Titans (6): Nick Dzubnar (Cal Poly), Anthony Firkser (Harvard), Isaiah Mack (Chattanooga), MyCole Pruitt (Southern Illinois), Kalif Raymond (Holy Cross), Derick Roberson (Sam Houston State)
Chicago Bears (5): Tarik Cohen (North Carolina A&T), DeAndre Houston-Carson (William & Mary), Bilal Nichols (Delaware), Eric Saubert (Drake), Buster Skrine (Chattanooga)
Kansas City Chiefs (5): Alex Brown (South Carolina State), Antonio Hamilton (South Carolina State), Tanoh Kpassagnon (Villanova), Daniel Kilgore (Appalachian State), Khalen Saunders (Western Illinois)
Detroit Lions (5): Jamal Agnew (San Diego), Mike Ford (Southeast Missouri State), Miles Killebrew (Southern Utah), Tony McRae (North Carolina A&T), Nick Williams (Samford)
Baltimore Ravens (5): Chris Board (North Dakota State), Nick Boyle (Delaware), L.J. Fort (UNI), Anthony Levine Sr. (Tennessee State), Patrick Ricard (Maine)
Arizona Cardinals (4): Robert Alford (Southeastern Louisiana), Chase Edmonds (Fordham), Josh Miles (Morgan State), Chris Streveler (South Dakota)
Indianapolis Colts (4): Bruce Anderson III (North Dakota State), Darius Leonard (South Carolina State), George Odum (Central Arkansas), Luke Rhodes (William & Mary)
Miami Dolphins (4): Julie’n Davenport (Bucknell), Jesse Davis (Idaho), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Harvard), Kamu Grugier-Hill (Eastern Illinois)
Green Bay Packers (4): Tim Boyle (Eastern Kentucky), Raven Greene (James Madison), Robert Tonyan (Indiana State), Billy Turner (North Dakota State)
Carolina Panthers (4): Jeremy Chinn (Southern Illinois), Zach Kerr (Delaware), Trent Scott (Grambling State), Julian Stanford (Wagner)
Los Angeles Rams (4): Samson Ebukam (Eastern Washington), Cooper Kupp (Eastern Washington), Troy Reeder (Delaware), Nsimba Webster (Eastern Washington)
Washington Football Team (4): Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty), Danny Johnson (Southern University), Mike Liedtke (Illinois State), Jimmy Moreland (James Madison)
Los Angeles Chargers (3): Nasir Adderley (Delaware), Donald Parham Jr. (Stetson), Easton Stick (North Dakota State)
Atlanta Falcons (3): Jaeden Graham (Yale), Foye Oluokun (Yale), Timon Parris (Stony Brook)
Jacksonville Jaguars (3): James O'Shaughnessy (Illinois State), James Robinson (Illinois State), Quincy Williams (Murray State)
New England Patriots (3): Justin Bethel (Presbyterian), Brandon Copeland (Penn), Derek Rivers (Youngstown State)
Seattle Seahawks (3): Eli Mencer (Albany), Jason Myers (Marist), Tyler Ott (Harvard)
Dallas Cowboys (2): Ben DiNucci (James Madison), Joe Thomas (South Carolina State)
New York Giants (2): C.J. Board (Chattanooga), James Bradberry (Samford)
Pittsburgh Steelers (2): Kameron Canaday (Portland State), Jordan Dangerfield (Towson)
Minnesota Vikings (2): Dakota Dozier (Furman), Oli Udoh (Elon)
Cincinnati Bengals (1): LeShaun Sims (Southern Utah)
Las Vegas Raiders (1): Brandon Parker (North Carolina A&T