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NFL Alumni by ACC School

How does the Pack stack up (and how much does it matter)?

Not just any gratuitous shot of cheerleaders. Pro Bowl cheerleaders!
Not just any gratuitous shot of cheerleaders. Pro Bowl cheerleaders!
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

By reader request (damn you, sbas2), I looked up the ACC alumni from each school and painstakingly added up each player currently listed in ESPN's database as being members of an NFL roster. The database is updated well from the standpoint of including recent UDFAs like Quintin Payton, but it is not all that up to date in terms of keeping track of guys who have been de-rostered, like Zach Allen (erstwhile member of Seattle and Indianapolis's practice squads). So, the list below is an approximation of the number of guys that spent at least an afternoon at some NFL team's facilities over the past two years. Ain't no way I'm going through all 14 teams to see how many are legit NFLers while you, the taxpayer, are paying me to enroll our best and brightest into the North Carolina Community College system.


(Approximate) # of Playerish Substances/Rank

Boston College

26 (7th)


34 (3rd)


10 (14th)

Florida State

50 (2nd)

Georgia Tech

23 (9th)


22 (10th)


52 (1st)

North Carolina

29 (T 5th)

North Carolina State

29 (T 5th)


19 (11th)


17 (12th)


28 (7th)

Virginia Tech

31 (4th)

Wake Forest

11 (13th)

Boasting NFL alumni obviously does not directly correlate to success. Miami hasn't had a 10-win season since joining the ACC and has finished the season ranked in the top 25 just once over the last eight years. Imagine what Jim Grobe would have done with all that talent! Yup, the lowly Deacons have just 11 players in the database but won an ACC championship in 2006. Despite having barely a third of the players in the database as N.C. State, Wake owns a 5-3 record over the last eight games in the series.

(What's that? Grobe got fired? Thank heavens!)

Thankfully there's Virginia to make us feel a little better about not doing much despite putting a decent number of players into the league. I fully expected the Hoos to have about 15 guys on the list, yet, with a surprising 28 alumni, the Hoos have posted just two winning records over the last eight years. Though the Hokies have graduated just three more players to the NFL, Virginia's in-state rivals have rattled off 21 consecutive winning seasons.

I was surprised to see Georgia Tech, centered in such a talent-rich recruiting bed, down at 9th in the league. Just two Yellow Jackets have been drafted and made an NFL roster over the last four drafts. Um, yeah, I'd say Paul Johnson's system hurts recruiting.

For those of you who threw up in your mouths a little bit because I included Maryland, my apologies. I'll leave you with numbers for Louisville and Notre Dame: 22 and 39, respectively. Yessir, with no Bridgewater and a coaching change, the Cards are likely to sink back into the land of 6-6 mediocrity where they (and most of their former Big East brethren) belong.