Take Two: Does LSU or Bama set standard for NFL talent?
Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling a handful of issues in the college football landscape. Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and a local expert from the Rivals.com network of team sites.
When the season started, LSU had more players on NFL rosters than any other team in the country. But is the perception by elite prospects and those that cover the recruiting industry that Baton Rouge is the best place to go to be developed for the pros?
After LSU, with 51 players on the NFL roster list, comes USC and Florida with 45 each and then Miami and Alabama had 44 each. Rounding out the list was Ohio State at 42, Florida State at 40, Georgia and Clemson at 38 and Michigan at 35.
The Crimson Tide have dominated college football in recent years and controlled the team recruiting rankings, so it would be no surprise to consider Alabama the place where elite-level talent goes to get developed for the NFL.
In the coming years, Tuscaloosa could easily emerge atop this list. It’s not the case yet, but should it be, since Alabama’s coaching and development is on par - or better - than any other program in the country?
LSU is battling for every recruit in the Southeast, and many of the best players in its own state in the 2018 class (just look at the recruitment of five-star CB Patrick Surtain), and the Tigers still have more players in the league than any other team. Is Alabama about to take that over, as well?
FIRST TAKE: TONY TSOUKALAS, BAMAINSIDER.COM
“I believe Alabama is the best place for elite talent to not only develop but also to get noticed. Alabama has yet to miss an appearance in the College Football Playoff, which provides potential draft picks with extra games on the big stage to showcase their ability. Pair that with the notable opening games Alabama plays and the fact that it plays in college football’s most-watched conference and that’s a lot of exposure.
“I also think that by now Nick Saban has developed a good reputation for developing talent. Because of that, Alabama players might be given the benefit of the doubt by scouts.
“The national championship game also showed Alabama’s willingness to give freshmen playing time. Alabama seems to have embraced players leaving early for the NFL, and gives top talent every opportunity to develop their NFL careers as soon as possible.”
SECOND TAKE: MIKE FARRELL, RIVALS.COM
“You could say Ohio State is in the same ballpark when it comes to first-rounders. That’s what everybody cares about. Alabama is still probably the bar-setter when it comes to that. Clemson is moving up in that category but Alabama is definitely the one. If you want to become a high-level NFL prospect, you go to Alabama.
“LSU has the most players in the NFL, but it’s still Alabama to me.”