NCAA

NFL Draft: Which Schools Have Produced the Most Pro Football Hall of Fame Players?

With the NFL draft just hours away, college football players all over the country are waiting for that phone call that will change their lives forever. Some will obviously have to wait longer than others, just as the University of Michigan’s Tom Brady did back in 2000 when he was taken in the sixth round by the New England Patriots with the 199th overall selection.

Over the years, some have known for certain that their phone call would come early, such as the University of Tennessee’s Peyton Manning did in 1998. Manning knew he was going to be the first overall pick for months and he lived up to his expectations and will undoubtedly be a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame selection.

Naturally, with so many college football programs around the U.S., there are bound to be players that are drafted into the NFL that people aren’t overly familiar with. But people usually know the big-name players from big-name schools heading into the NFL draft and, more often than not, it’s those big-name schools that produce the best players.

While not all of those players find success in the NFL, the likelihood of ending up in the Hall of Fame goes up quite a bit if they went to a big-name university, as you’ll see in this list of the 10 schools that have produced the most Pro Football Hall of Fame players.

Illinois (6)

The University of Illinois has produced the 10th-most Pro Football Hall of Fame selections with six, including a number of old-school defensive players.

  • Dick Butkus
  • Harold “Red” Grange
  • George Halas
  • Bobby Mitchell
  • Ray Nitschke
  • Hugh Ray

Minnesota (7)

The University of Minnesota has produced seven Hall of Famers. However, two Golden Gophers, Tony Dungy and Bud Grant, were inducted as coaches.

  • Bobby Bell
  • Tony Dungy
  • Carl Eller
  • Bud Grant
  • Bronko Nagurski
  • Leo Nomellini
  • Charlie Sanders

Alabama, Syracuse (8)

With all of the talent that comes out of Tuscaloosa, it’s honestly a little surprising to see that the University of Alabama has produced just eight Hall of Famers. But that doesn’t mean it’s not still a very solid list.

  • John Hannah
  • Don Hutson
  • Joe Namath
  • Ozzie Newsome
  • Ken Stabler
  • Bart Starr
  • Dwight Stephenson
  • Derrick Thomas

Syracuse University also has eight Hall of Fame selections in Canton, one of which is former Raiders owner Al Davis. The school has been hoping to add another alum but Donovan McNabb is still waiting for that phone call.

  • Jim Brown
  • Larry Csonka
  • Al Davis
  • Marvin Harrison
  • Floyd Little
  • John Mackey
  • Art Monk
  • Jim Ringo

Pittsburgh, Miami (9)

The University of Pittsburgh, better known as Pitt, has nine former players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including “Da Coach” himself, Mike Ditka, and arguably the best quarterback to never win a Super Bowl, Dan Marino.

  • Jimbo Covert
  • Mike Ditka
  • Chris Doleman
  • Tony Dorsett
  • Russ Grimm
  • Rickey Jackson
  • Dan Marino
  • Curtis Martin
  • Joe Schmidt

In turn, the University of Miami (FL) also has nine inductees, including some of the biggest names in the NFL in the past 30 years.

  • Ted Hendricks
  • Michael Irvin
  • Edgerrin James
  • Jim Kelly
  • Cortez Kennedy
  • Ray Lewis
  • Jim Otto
  • Ed Reed
  • Warren Sapp

Michigan, Ohio State (10)

It just makes sense that Michigan and Ohio State would have the same number of Hall of Fame inductees, doesn’t it? They have one of the best rivalries in college football (maybe not lately as the Buckeyes have dominated the Wolverines) history and both schools have released a number of great players to the NFL. Here’s the 10 Michigan Wolverines in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

  • George Allen
  • Dan Dierdorf
  • Len Ford
  • Benny Friedman
  • Bill Hewitt
  • Elroy Hirsch
  • Steve Hutchinson
  • Ty Law
  • Tom Mack
  • Ralph Wilson, Jr.

And here are the Ohio State Buckeyes.

  • Cris Carter
  • Sid Gilman
  • Lou Groza
  • Dante Lavelli
  • Dick LeBeau
  • Orlando Pace
  • Jim Parker
  • Ed Sabol
  • Paul Warfield
  • Bill Willis

Notre Dame, USC (13)

Another set of longtime rivals are tied in the top spot as Notre Dame and USC each have 13 inductees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. First up, the Fighting Irish.

  • Jerome Bettis
  • Tim Brown
  • Nick Buoniconti
  • Dave Casper
  • George Connor
  • Edward DeBartolo, Jr.
  • Paul Hornung
  • Earl Lambeau
  • John McNally
  • Wayne Millner
  • Joe Montana
  • Alan Page
  • George Trafton

Here are the 13 USC Trojans.

  • Marcus Allen
  • Morris “Red” Badgro
  • Frank Gifford
  • Ronnie Lott
  • Bruce Matthews
  • Ron Mix
  • Anthony Munoz
  • Troy Polamalu
  • Junior Seau
  • O.J. Simpson
  • Lynn Swann
  • Willie Wood
  • Ron Yary