Loading up on the ACC
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
If ACC football is as down as our Heather Dinich suggests (via Tony Barnhart at ajc.com), perhaps the conference could do a better job replacing the many players it sends to the NFL. Rosters remain fluid this time of year, but I track them closely and I recently counted 337 former ACC players in the league, second to the SEC (375) and slightly ahead of the Big Ten (328).
I counted more former ACC players in the NFC West -- 48 -- than in any other division. Every team in the division is carrying 10 or more players from ACC schools (Seahawks 14, Rams 13, 49ers 11, Cardinals 10). The Bucs and Jets lead the league with 16 apiece. The Eagles -- by my count -- are carrying a league-low five.
Those numbers will contract with the mandatory roster reductions heading into the season, but Seattle led the league in ACC players much of 2007. Seven of the Seahawks' projected starters played for college programs currently affiliated with the ACC: Matt Hasselbeck (Boston College), Kelly Jennings (Miami), Darryl Tapp (Virginia Tech), Leroy Hill (Clemson), Walter Jones (Florida St.), Sean Locklear (N.C. State) and Patrick Kerney (Virginia).