These 20 College Football Programs Are The Best At Actually Developing Top-Tier NFL Talent

best college football development programs

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  • Success in College Football relies on blue chip recruits and developing those players
  • A lot of emphasis is placed on recruiting while not nearly as much focus is paid to how those recruits turn out within a program
  • 247Sports used five years of data to determine which College Football programs are the best at developing NFL talent
  • Read more cool articles here

The world of College Football Recruiting has become so popular that ESPN basically turned National Signing Day into a National Holiday for the network. CFB teams cannot win a National Championship without top-tier recruits. This is a fact. But they also need to develop those recruits in order to win.

Fans who think College Football programs can compete without top recruits are delusional. Every National Champion team since 2002 has had at least one 5-Star recruit and every champion since Florida State won it in 2013 has had 50% or more blue-chips on the team.

But recruiting is just one element of success. College Football Development can be difficult to quantify but 247Sports has done a pretty good job at it. They’ve come up with an elaborate formula to track College Football Development over recent years and published their interesting findings.

Alabama reigns supreme. This shouldn’t shock anyone. If you asked someone off the street who doesn’t watch sports at all which program is best at College Football Development there’s a 90% chance they’d tell you Alabama. Nick Saban also starts recruiting them big and young.

247Sports explains their formula in-depth here. Teams receive points for players drafted to the NFL and more points for 1st round than the later rounds. Then that number is divided by the total number of prospects eligible for the NFL draft. Interestingly, they used data from 2012-2016 because countless players from 2017 and on are still eligible for the NFL draft.

They also explain that in their article. But here’s the list of the top 10:

  1. Alabama Football – 1.13 Rating
  2. Florida Gators – 1.10 Rating
  3. Washington – 1.10 Rating
  4. Ohio State – 1.08 Rating
  5. LSU – 0.96 Rating
  6. Miami Hurricanes – 0.96 Rating
  7. Stanford – 0.94 Rating
  8. Oklahoma Sooners – 0.91 Rating
  9. Georgia Bulldogs – 0.90 Rating
  10. Ole Miss – 0.83 Rating
  11. Clemson Tigers
  12. Florida State Seminoles
  13. Notre Dame
  14. Auburn
  15. Michigan Wolverines
  16. Penn State
  17. UCLA
  18. USC
  19. Tennessee
  20. Baylor

They make a note in the article that FSU is currently that high because this data includes the players drafted from the Seminoles’ 2013 National Championship team including #1 overall pick Jameis Winston.

“Texas is back” is probably the most overused joke in College Football. Sure, they can recruit. But until they figure out College Football Development then Texas is decidedly not back. Paul Finebaum agrees. At the very least, they need to climb their way up from the bottom of the rankings.