As the 2012 NFL season kicks off tonight in New York, the University of Alabama is well represented around the league. All but three AFC teams have at least one Bama player, while half the NFC has a Tide player on its roster.
• The Crimson Tide is represented on 21 of the 32 NFL franchises.
• That number becomes 24 counting former coaches or players now coaching.
• Alabama has 34 players on active rosters around the league, including 21 in the Nick Saban era.
• 11 players have been taken in the first round of the NFL draft following their tutilege under Nick Saban.
• Bama has placed 4 in the first round of the NFL draft in each of the last two years.
• 22 of the Tide’s NFL players are on defense.
• Bama has 11 former coaches in the league.
Here is a list of current Alabama players that made NFL rosters this season. Players that left early to become first-round draftees are noted with an asterisk. No wonder top high school talent with NFL aspirations keep finding their way to Tuscaloosa.
Rashad Johnson (49)
Julio Jones (11)*
Mike Johnson (59)
Terrence Cody (62)
Courtney Upshaw (91)
Mark Anderson (93)
Marcel Dareus (99)*
Dre Kirkpatrick (27)*
Andre Smith (71)*
Trent Richardson (33)*
Brad Smelley (47) – (practice squad)
Lorenzo Washington (73) – (practice squad)
Antoine Caldwell (62)
Kareem Jackson (25)*
Josh Chapman (61) – (reserve)
John Parker Wilson (4) – (practice squad)
Kansas City Chiefs
Javier Arenas (21)
DeQuan Menzie (49) – (injured reserve)
New England Patriots
Brandon Deaderick (71)
Dont’a Hightower (54)*
New Orleans Saints
Roman Harper (41)
Mark Ingram (28)*
Marquis Johnson (injured reserve)
New York Jets
Greg McElroy (14)
Rolondo McClain (55)*
Evan Mathis (69)
Demeco Ryans (59)
San Diego Chargers
Jarret Johnson (96)
Le’Ron McClain (33)
James Carpenter (77)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mark Barron (24)
Wallace Gilberry (92)
Alex Watkins (46) – (injured reserve)
Darius Hanks (17) – (injured reserve)
Note: The University of Alabama’s official athletic website (www.rolltide.com) lists the total number of active players at 39, but it appears the page hasn’t been updated since rosters were finalized.