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.

The Schools

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.

  • Appalachian State

    App State Football

    • Akeen Davis- Gaither (Linebacker) Cincinnati Bengals
    • Colby Gosset (Guard) Atlanta Falcons
    • Shemar Jean-Charles (Cornerback) Green Bay Packers
    • Sam Martin (Punter) Buffalo Bills
    • Demetrius Taylor (Defensive End) Detriot Lions
    • Jalen Virgil (Wide Receiver) Denver Broncos
  • Charlotte

    Alex Highsmith

    • Alex Highsmith (Linebacker) Pittsburg Steelers
    • Larry Ogunjobi (Defensive Tackle) Pittsburg Steelers
  • Duke

    Daniel Jones

    • Josh Blackwell (Cornerback) Chicago Bears
    • Michael Carter II (Cornerback) New York Jets
    • Jamison Crowder (Wide Receiver) Buffalo Bills
    • Victor Dimukeje (Linebacker) Arizona Cardinals
    • Noah Gray (Tight End) Kansas City Chiefs
    • Devery Hamilton (Offensive Tackle) New York Giants
    • Thomas Hennessy (Long Snapper) New York Jets
    • Deon Jackson (Running Back) Indianapolis Colts
    • Daniel Jones (Quarterback) New York Giants
    • Lucas Patrick (Guard) Chicago Bears
    • Chris Rumph II (Linebacker) Los Angeles Chargers
    • Laken Tomlinson (Guard) New York Jets
  • East Carolina

    Zay Jones

    • Zay Jones (Wide Receiver) Jacksonville Jaquars
    • D’Ante Smith (Guard) Cincinnati Bengals
  • Elon

    Olisaemekd Udoh

    • Olisaemeka Udoh (Guard) Minnesota Vikings
  • Lenoir-Rhyne

    Kyle Dugger

    • Kyle Dugger (Safety) New England Patriots
    • Dareke Young (Wide Reciever) Seattle Seahawks
  • NC State

    Ikem Ekwonu

    • Garrett Bradbury (Center) Minnesota Vikings
    • Jacoby Brissett (Quarterback) Cleveland Browns
    • Bradley Chubb (Linebacker) Denver Broncos
    • AJ Cole (Punter) Las Vegas Raiders
    • Ikem Ekwonu (Offensive Tackle) Carolina Panthers
    • Trenton Gill (Punter) Chicago Bears
    • BJ Hill (Defensive Tackle) Cincinnati Bengals
    • Nyheim Hines (Running Back) Indianapolis Colts
    • Josh Jones (Safety) Seattle Seahawks
    • Justin Jones (Defensive Tackle) Chicago Bears
    • Alim NcNeill (Defensive Tackle) Detroit Lions
    • Jakobi Meyers (Wide Receiver) New England Patriots
    • Germaine Pratt (Linebacker) Cincinnati Bengals
    • James Smith-Williams (Defensive End) Washington Commanders
    • Kentavius Street (Defensive Tackle) New Orleans Saints
    • Joe Thuney (Guard) Kansas City Chiefs
    • Russell Wilson (Quarterback) Denver Broncos
  • North Carolina

    Giovani Bernard

    • Giovani Bernard (Running Back) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    • Dyami Brown (Wide Reciever) Washington Commanders
    • Michael Carter (Running Back) New York Jets
    • Ty Chandler (Running Back) Minnesota Vikings
    • Joshua Ezeudu (Guard) New York Giants
    • Tomon Fox (Linebacker) New York Giants
    • Charlie Heck (Offensive Tackle) Houston Texans
    • Cole Holcomb (Linebacker) Washington Commanders
    • Mack Hollins (Wide Reciever) Las Vegas Raiders
    • Sam Howell (Quarterback) Washington Commanders
    • James Hurst (Offensive Tackle) New Orleans Saints
    • Robert Quinn (Linebacker) Chicago Bears
    • M.J. Stewart (Safety) Houston Texans
    • Mitch Trubisky (Quarterback) Pittsburgh Steelers
    • Antonio Williams (Running Back) New York Giants
    • Javonte Williams (Running Back) Denver Broncos
  • North Carolina A&T

    Darryl Johnson

    • Darryl Jonson (Defensive End) Seattle Seahawks
  • Wake Forest

    Boogie Basham

    • Boogie Basham (Defensive End) Buffalo Bills
    • Essang Bassey (Cornerback) Denver Broncos
    • Jessie Bates III (Safety) Cincinnati Bengals
    • Greg Dortch (Wide Reciever) Arizona Cardinals
    • Phil Haynes (Guard) Seattle Seahawks
    • Justin Herron (Offensive Tackle) New England Patriots
    • Luke Masterson (Linebacker) Las Vegas Raiders
    • Justin Strnad (Linebacker) Denver Broncos
    • Ja’Sir Taylor (Cornerback) Los Angeles Chargers
    • Zach Tom (Guard) Green Bay Packers
    • Luiji Vilain (Linebacker) Minnesota Vikings
    • John Wolford (Quarterback) Los Angeles Rams

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