10 College Teams Putting the Most Players in the NFL
Which colleges have produced the most active football players in the NFL? According to a January, 2019 article by US News and World Report, the following list makes up the top 10.
Auburn and UGA tied at 28 each
University of Southern California 32
Florida State 33
University of Miami and Ohio State tied at 36 each
University of Florida 38
So is it X’s and O’s or Jimmies and Joes? You need raw material, but coaching matters. From the data provided above we should see why Auburn has difficulty with LSU and Bama. However Georgia is comparable. It should be expected that Auburn would have some natural talent imbalances against LSU and Bama. By contrast player level variables are evened out with UGA. Auburn should be competitive with Georgia at least 50 per cent of the time. When we look at the all-time record, we see that is the case.
But what about lately? Coaching matters. Now, this is not intended as a hit piece against Gus Malzahn. But rather a look at one aspect: his use of personnel. In particular his use of tight ends, H-backs and fullbacks. Everyone knows these big-bodied guys should be able to block. Yet they can do so much more than that. And it is their versatility which makes them such a dangerous weapon, both on the ground and as receivers.
When Auburn has a less than stellar offensive line and the defenders are stacking the box with 7, 8, even 9 guys, our five offensive lineman are overwhelmed. They need help. It is not reasonable to expect 5 average guys to hold off the rush of 7, 8 or 9 guys. This is when tight ends, H-backs and fullbacks must be employed to equal the pressure and pick up defenders who get through the line. However, Coach Malzahn insists on having 4 wideouts and no-back sets, even during obvious running downs. My question is how is that going to fool anybody?
If the O-line can’t get a push, send in more beef and use personnel designed to maximize mass on mass for running plays. If the play breaks down, a handoff or short lateral pass to the H-back or fullback can help bail out a harried quarterback. This option becomes even more viable on designed pass plays when pass protection breaks down quickly. Short passing routes to tight ends or dump offs to the H-back or fullback provide outlets and negate pressure.
But for some reason, Malzahn has pigeonholed certain players as receivers, others as runners, and others as blockers. Now, one might think the designated players are only good at the roles assigned to them. But, the NFL uses these guys in expanded roles. Tight ends are receiving the ball more often in the NFL than they do at Auburn. Fullbacks are getting the ball more often in the NFL than they do at Auburn. This proves that these guys are capable of expanded roles.
The fact is, the five linemen we have right now are having difficulty handling defensive fronts. This was evident last year, and it has continued through the first two games this year. Sure, the guys are more experienced. But they’re still the same five, average guys playing the same average way. Therefore it is imperative that additional blockers are utilized in order to handle defensive fronts.
The opposition has Auburn scoped out. They know the game plan, the plays, the tendencies, the assigned roles, the personnel. The Jimmies and Joes just aren’t there on the offensive line. This is when X’s and O’s are needed to make a difference.