The first weekend of the NFL season has wrapped up and the league has combed through the rosters of all 32 teams to come up with some interesting data. Of note to college football fans: Which programs produced the most NFL talent in 2018? To the surprise of nobody, the list is led by Alabama.
All told, the Crimson Tide had 44 players make an opening weekend roster, followed by LSU with 40 and Florida with 37. The Tigers had previously led the way with the most alumni on a roster from 2014-2017 so this represents a changing of the guard in this respect — one of the few areas LSU could claim superiority over their SEC West rivals given how their meetings on the field have gone.
To round out the list: Miami and Ohio State had 36 players, followed by FSU (33), USC (32), Clemson (29), Auburn and Georgia (28), Stanford/Tennessee/UCLA (27), Iowa/Michigan/Notre Dame (26), Penn State (25), Texas (24), Oklahoma and Texas A&M (23).
Also fascinating was the school data by position. The Buckeyes can certainly lay claim to being ‘DB U’ this year after producing 10 defensive backs on NFL rosters, far and away the most by any school at a specific position. Michigan State, N.C. State and USC all produced three NFL quarterbacks while Clemson/Texas Tech led with seven wide receivers in the league. Alabama and Georgia also tied with seven linebackers on NFL rosters while the Crimson Tide and LSU tied with six defensive tackles.
There was also interesting data that will be of note for recruitniks out there too. As far as the most NFL players produced by state, Florida (211) led the way once again while California (185), Texas (175), Georgia (123), Ohio (76), Alabama (60) and Louisiana/Pennsylvania (59) all had significant numbers. Washington, D.C. produced the most players per capita (1 player per 54,702 people), followed by Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Go ahead and break out the S-E-C! chant for that.
Incredibly, Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, located in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, had a whopping 15 alumni make a roster this weekend, nearly doubling second place Long Beach Poly.