Super Bowl LI will feature a showdown between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons, and the matchup will feature some of the best talent in the NFL. You might be surprised where some of that talent came from.
A breakdown of the rosters of the Patriots and the Falcons (including injured reserve players) shows that a few college football teams are well-represented on the Super Bowl rosters. If you've followed Bill Belichick's drafting trends, you won't be surprised by which team has the most players in the Super Bowl.
Here's a look at which schools have the most players on the two Super Bowl rosters:
5 Players in the Super Bowl
Rutgers: Yes, Rutgers leads the way this year with five alumni in the Super Bowl. Four of those players are from the Patriots' roster (Jonathan Freeny, Duron Harmon, Devin McCourty and Logan Ryan) while Mohamed Sanu represents the Scarlet Knights for the Falcons.
4 Players in the Super Bowl
Alabama: Julio Jones, Courtney Upshaw, Cyrus Jones, Dont'a Hightower.
LSU: Barkevious Mingo, Jalen Collins, Tyson Jackson, Deion Jones
Stanford: Cameron Fleming, Jordan Richards, Austin Hooper, Levine Toilolo
3 Players in the Super Bowl
Auburn: Jonathan Jones, Brandon King, Josh Harris
Georgia: David Andrews, Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Mayes
Virginia: Chris Long, LaRoy Reynolds, Matt Schaub
Washington: Dashon Goldson, Joshua Perkins, Desmond Trufant
Additionally, 23 colleges are represented by two alumni and 46 schools have one alum in the Super Bowl.
While it might have been a surprise that Rutgers has the most players in the Super Bowl, it shouldn't be surprising to anyone that the SEC leads the way when breaking down the rosters by conference.
When you break down each team's roster by conference similar trends are obviously evident.
For example, the Patriots roster is led by 11 players each from the Big Ten and the SEC. The five top conferences represented on the roster are — you guessed it — the Power-5 conferences.
The Falcons, meanwhile, have a few more SEC players, and several more Pac-12 players on the roster.
Atlanta also has seven FCS players (two from the same college — Tom Compton and Tyler Starr from South Dakota) and two Division 2 alumni (C.J. Goodwin from Cal (PA) and Ryan Schraeder from Valdosta State).
Unlike the Patriots, the top five conferences represented on the Falcons roster are the SEC, Pac-12, ACC, Big Ten and the AAC. The Mountain West also is better-represented than the final Power-5 conference, the Big 12.