Both college and NFL football are in full swing. And for the state of North Carolina, the two leagues couldn’t be trending in different directions. The Carolina Panthers are 0-2 and on an eight-game losing streak dating back to last season. The team hasn’t won a home game in over a year. Meanwhile, NC State, Wake Forest, UNC, and Duke are all 3-0 going into week four of the college football season. And while Appalachian State is sitting at 2-1 they have had one of the best upset wins of the season knocking off SEC opponent Texas A&M in College Station. With all that talent in the state, it’s no surprise that there are a ton of NFL players who played college football in North Carolina.
All the aforementioned schools are well represented with the four ACC schools each having double-digit players in the NFL. But we also have some alumni from East Carolina, Elon, Charlotte, Lenoir-Rhyne, and North Carolina A&T. If you’re counting that’s 10 schools represented at the highest level of football. That’s pretty awesome! Those players now play for 26 of the 32 NFL franchises including our own Carolina Panthers. Our first-round draft pick this year was Ikem Ekwanu out of NC State.
The Denver Broncos are the NFL team with the most players who played college football in North Carolina. There are 6 on the teams roster. This is coincidental as they are now my second NFL team now thanks to Russell Wilson and Bradley Chubb who both played at NC State. In addition to Chubb and Wilson, the Bronco have App receiver Jalen Virgil, UNC running back Javonte Williams, and Essang Bassey (safety) and Justin Strnad (linebacker) out of Wake Forest. The Cincinatti Bengals, Chicago Bears, and New York Giants each have 5 players representing the state.
So if you’ve given up on the Panthers, personally I’ll turn it on but will not be spending money on the team until they make some changes, maybe this list will give you a new vested interest in an NFL team. Hopefully one that will be representative of a few more wins. Below you’ll find a complete breakdown by university of each schools players that are currently on NFL rosters. This list is as of September 21st but keep in mind things are always changing.