There are currently nine mid-major college football teams that have at least 10 former players in the NFL in 2012. Any college football program that is not in one of the six major conferences in college football that has 10 or more players playing in the NFL is obviously doing something right.
As I wrote about a few days ago, there are 11 major college football teams that each have fewer than 10 players currently playing in the NFL. Each major conference in college football has at least one team on the list, and one conference embarrassingly has three teams in the top five.
Of the nine mid-major teams listed here, three will be joining the Big East conference in the near future. All three are in the top four on this list, which means the Big East has probably chosen its expansion teams well.
Mid-major college football teams with the most players in the NFL
- Boise State – 18
Led by rookie RB Doug Martin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Boise State Broncos currently have 18 former players playing in the NFL in 2012. That is easily the most among college football teams not yet in a major conference. Boise State will be joining the Big East for football in 2013.
- Fresno State – 15
Led by G Logan Mankins and RB Ryan Matthews, the Fresno State Bulldogs have the second most NFL players among mid-majors with 15. Fresno State has a very solid football program located in a great recruiting state.
- UCF – 13
The UCF Knights currently have 13 former players playing in the NFL this season. The 13 are led by WR Brandon Marshall and CB Asante Samuel. UCF will be joining the Big East in 2013.
- San Diego State – 12
The San Diego State Aztecs have 12 players in the NFL in 2012. That includes rookie RB Ronnie Hillman on the Denver Broncos, and WR Vincent Brown on the hometown San Diego Chargers. Along with Boise State and UCF, San Diego State will be joining the Big East for football in 2013.
- Marshall – 11
Led by Randy Moss and Ahmad Bradshaw, who plays for my favorite NFL team, the New York Giants, the Marshall Thundering Herd have 11 former players in the NFL in 2012.
- Hawaii – 10
The Hawaii Warriors have 10 former players in the NFL this season. Must be tough for NFL scouts to have to travel to Hawaii to scout the Warriors players.
- Nevada – 10
The Nevada Wolf Pack have 10 players in the NFL. Junior RB Stefphon Jefferson from Nevada is currently leading college football in rushing yards in 2012. He is largely unknown, but deserves at least some Heisman consideration this season.
- Toledo – 10
The Toledo Rockets currently have 10 former players playing in the NFL. Junior WR Bernard Reedy from Toledo already has two kickoff returns, one in the big upset win over Cincinnati, and one punt return for TDs this season. Can he play in the NFL?
- Troy – 10
Led by two great pass rushers in DeMarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiori, the Troy Trojans have ten players in the NFL in 2012.