5 Colleges That Produce the Most Professional Athletes

5 Colleges That Produce the Most Professional Athletes
5 Colleges That Produce the Most Professional Athletes
Most students earn college degrees to help launch careers, but many graduates admit that their fondest memories of school were formed in a stadium, not a library. Legions of college kids bond together every year as they pack the seats in major venues like the University of Michigan’s "Big House" football stadium or Duke University’s Cameron Indoor basketball arena. The athletes who compete in those games can gain fame on campus, and some of them even go on to make careers out of their skill in handling a ball or puck.

To find the schools that produce the most professional athletes, Forbes magazine recently counted the college affiliations of sports stars in American men’s professional football, baseball, hockey, soccer and basketball leagues:
The University of Michigan. The college with the most active sports pros was Michigan, with 68 professional athletes in the five major leagues as of 2008. The list is loaded with football players like champion quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, and goes on to include basketball players like Juwan Howard and hockey players like Marty Turco. Still, aspiring jocks should beware that the statistics are against them. The Wolverines award almost 6,500 bachelor’s degrees every year, which means that only one in every 1,000 students who graduated in the last decade is making his living as an athlete.
Ohio State University. Like its archrival, Michigan, Ohio State has a major football program that feeds dozens of players to the National Football League. The Buckeyes had a total of 62 pro athletes at the time of the survey, thanks to guys like Mike Vrabel of the Kansas City Chiefs and Santonio Holmes of the New York Jets. Football schools top the rankings largely because the sheer number of athletes on each team is greater than most other sports.
The University of Miami (Florida). Miami is another football factory, compiling a list of 60 active pro players with famous names like Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens. In fact, 50 of those professional jocks came from the Hurricane football program, and legends like Warren Sapp and Vinny Testaverde were still playing when the list was made.
The University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA). There are 59 UCLA Bruins now playing professionally, representing a wider spectrum of sports than the top three colleges. UCLA regularly places athletes in most of the pro leagues except for hockey.
Florida State University and The University of Notre Dame. Florida State and Notre Dame were tied for fifth place on the list, with 51 pro players apiece.

Many other colleges are right behind the top five, with big names like the University of North Carolina, Louisiana State University and the University of Florida minting 50 players each, and the University of Tennessee with 48.

Another way to count the top athletic colleges is to tally the number of their players who are drafted by the National Football League. Analysts with Yahoo! Sports recently compiled those figures for a story on the most athletic schools. Their list includes schools like the University of Georgia, with 56 players drafted since 1999; the University of Texas, with 38; the University of Southern California, with 56; and Purdue, with 32.

"I don’t know how you would argue it," Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis told Yahoo! Sports, recalling his days as a player on the Miami football squad. "The teams in [2000 and 2001] were basically NFL teams. You had Pro Bowlers rooming with other Pro Bowlers…. Some of the meeting rooms, if you took a picture, everyone in it would have been a first- or second-round pick."

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