Data Points: Unexpected ‘football factory’

With the 76th NFL draft in the books, it gives us one more chance to argue which schools are true “football factories.”

Clearly, it’s not Bethel University in McKenzie, Tenn., the former home of Bills seventh-round pick Michael Jasper, who is hoping to team with Buffalo’s first-round pick, Marcell Dareus of Alabama, to bolster the league’s worst run defense.

Nor is it California (PA), where Titans seventh-round pick Tommie Campbell roamed last season.

So which school has bragging rights? You might be surprised, but one of the nation’s basketball powerhouses can claim — at least for a year — to be the preeminent supplier of football talent to the NFL, along with USC (no surprise there), in 2011.

Here’s the list of former Tar Heels now taking residence with various teams around the league: Robert Quinn (14th overall, Rams), Bruce Carter (40th, Cowboys), Marvin Austin (52nd, Giants), Greg Little (59th, Browns), Da’Norris Searcy (100th, Bills), Johnny White (133rd, Bills), Taylor Yates (152nd, Texans), Quan Sturdivant (171st, Cardinals), Ryan Taylor (218th, Packers).

This isn’t normal for North Carolina. In the previous five years combined, the Tar Heels only had 10 guys taken in the draft.

Elliot Harrison

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