Next to championships and Heismans, there’s perhaps no greater measure of a college’s football prowess than the number of players it sends to the NFL.
In the last couple of years, schools like Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State and Clemson have all consistently pushed out talent to the professional level, while other schools like Miami and LSU have also done their fair share to be labeled as NFL factories.
When it comes to the Buccaneers, the college range is diverse, with nine FBS conferences and 67 total teams across each division of college football represented.
Let’s break it down by the numbers.
Team with the most players on the Buccaneers: Surprisingly (or maybe not, if you’re a diehard for obscure roster facts), the college most heavily represented in Tampa Bay is West Virginia, with four players on roster.
Running back Charles Sims III, defensive end Will Clark and defensive backs Keith Tandy and Reese Fleming make up the former Mountaineers on the team.
Tied for second place with three players a pop are Florida State (Javien Elliot, Jameis Winston and Bobo Wilson), California (DeSean Jackson, Bryan Anger and Chris Conte), Auburn (Peyton Barber, DaVonte Lambert and Carlton Davis), and underdog of the group, Eastern Michigan (Sergio Bailey, Cole Gardner, Pat O’Conner).
Conference with the most players on the Buccaneers: In what will either be validating or frustrating news for you, the conference most represented in Tampa is, of course, the SEC.
10 teams and 15 players hail from #ITJUSTMEANSMORE territory, including three first round picks in O.J. Howard, Mike Evans and Vernon Hargreaves III.
The ACC comes in second with 11 total players, with the Big 10 (nine players), Pac-12 (eight players) and Big 12 (seven players) rounding out the rest of the power conferences.
23 players come from FCS, Division II, Division III, or Canada (shout out Anthony Auclair) schools, but in respect to my last two brain cells, we’re just focusing on FBS.
School with the most surprising amount of players: We’ve already talked about West Virginia and Eastern Michigan’s out-of-nowhere status amongst the elite, so let’s instead focus on a team that somehow is underrepresented: Alabama.
Despite having 73 players selected in the draft since 2010 (in comparison, Florida State has had 50, Ohio State 56, and Clemson 46), there’s one single Crimson Tide player sitting on Tampa Bay’s roster: the previously aforementioned O.J. Howard, the Buccaneers’ first round selection in 2016.
The last time Tampa selected an Alabama player before Howard was safety Mark Barron in 2012, and before that, Kenneth Darby in 2007.