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NFL Players By College – What College Has The Most NFL Players?

The research team at Grand Canyon University gathered data on every player to ever appear on an active NFL roster and determined the most NFL players by college.

Did you know that over 25,000 players have played in an NFL game?

(Related: NFL Standings | List of All NFL Teams | NBA Players By College)

NFL Players By College – Overall Top 10

For 2020 updated as of Week One and based on the 53-man roster, here are the top 10 colleges that have produced the most NFL players:

Ohio State50
Penn State32
Notre Dame29
Iowa, Florida State, Washington28
Stanford, Texas A&M27

This study includes data points and insights for every franchise, as well as the league as a whole. Here are some takeaways:

– Notre Dame has produced more NFL players than any other college, with 495 athletes going on to play in the NFL.

– Notre Dame, USC, and Ohio State are the schools with the most NFL players in history and the only colleges who have produced 400+ NFL players.

– Alabama leads 2019 rosters with 56 players. As for end of season 2018 rosters, Alabama also led the way with 53 players making it to the NFL.

– In terms of players by decade, the NFL relied heavily on schools from the Midwest such as Notre Dame and Minnesota in the 50s and 60s. The focus shifted west to USC in the 70s and 80s before settling into a varied approach that has seen schools from the Midwest, California, and the Southeast regularly headlining NFL rosters over the last 30 years.

NFL Players By College – Overall Top 10 All-Time

1. Notre Dame – 495
2. USC – 479
3. Ohio State – 426
4. Penn State – 359
5. Nebraska – 346
6. Michigan – 346
7. Miami – 341
8. Oklahoma – 328
9. LSU – 325
10. Alabama – 319

What College Has The Most NFL Players – 2019

  1. Alabama – 53
  2. LSU – 51
  3. Ohio State – 46
  4. USC – 44
  5. Miami – 43
  6. Florida – 43
  7. Florida State – 42
  8. Clemson – 37
  9. Tied – Penn State, Oklahoma, Auburn – 33

Finally, GCU broke out every player by position and school to find which schools have produced the most players at specific positions for every NFL team.

Using traditional offensive and defensive formations as the guide, they were able to create a unique starting lineup of college football teams, using their logos as stand-ins.

Here is another area where Notre Dame’s influence is readily apparent, as they are the top school at seven of the 24 positions evaluated, including key positions such as quarterback and running back.

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I’ve been a freelance journalist since 2000 and have had my work published via AskMen, Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report, Busted Coverage, and Autotrader. I’ve done stand-up comedy. I'm a dad, youth soccer coach, and team statistician for the oldest indoor football team in the world, the Omaha Beef. I own a design agency in Omaha, NE called little guy design. I’ve married six couples in 10 years and my Marriage to Still Married ratio is 6:6. I always say, it isn’t so much about the “love,” as it is the tasteless jokes that became vows. I started the I-80 Sports Blog to have all the work I've published located in one place and to write about things I want to write about. I don't take anything too seriously and it is a real time saver.