Alabama Crimson Tide in the NFL

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Founded in 1831, the University of Alabama took its time developing a football program, but the school has certainly made up for it since then. The university’s first football team took the field in 1892, quickly amassing wins and becoming noticed nationwide when they defeated the University of Pennsylvania in 1922. The 1925 season saw Wallace Wade coach the team to an undefeated and untied season, which was followed by a Rose Bowl invitation, where the Crimson Tide came from behind to clinch the win over Washington.  

Alabama has also rolled to a total of 16 national championships (the most in the SEC), six of those under head coach Bear Bryant. Alabama has two Heisman Trophy winners – Mark Ingram in 2009 and Derrick Henry in 2015 – but they’ve sent tons of players into the NFL, many of whom have made an impressive mark. Pro Football Hall of Famers who spent time as part of the Crimson Tide include Don Hutson, Bart Starr, Joe Namath, John Hannah, Dwight Stephenson, Ozzie Newsome, Derrick Thomas and Ken Stabler.

Considering Alabama’s long, storied (and championship-filled) history, it’s not a shocker to say there are plenty of former Crimson Tide players in the NFL today. Let’s take a look to see which current NFL players have spent time on the field at Alabama.

‘Bama Ballers

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There are tons of standout players currently in the NFL who were once part of the Crimson Tide. Julio Jones, wideout for the Atlanta Falcons, is one such player. Before he was drafted by the Falcons in 2011 (No. 6 overall), he was a national champion with the Crimson Tide and contributed to Alabama on a large scale, amassing over 2,600 receiving yards during his time there. As an NFL player, he’s continued pulling his weight, becoming the 2015 reception yards leader with 1,871 yards, being selected for the Pro Bowl four times, and reaching the championship game after the 2016 NFL season.

🏃🏿💨

A post shared by Jet Jones (@juliojones_11) on

His college teammate, Mark Ingram, has also enjoyed success after leaving Alabama for the NFL. Ingram was on that national championship team with Jones at Alabama, and won the Heisman Trophy that same season. The running back was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2011 draft, which is where he remains today. He’s been to one Pro Bowl in 2014 and reached above 1,000 yards in 2016.

P R E S S U R E #22Savage #GodWins

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Dont’a Hightower is another former Crimson Tide player who has found great success in the NFL. Hightower was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2012, and he’s a solid presence in their linebacker corps. He’s been selected to the Pro Bowl once, and he’s got two rings – so far.

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These three players are certainly not the only stars to come out of Alabama. Consider Amari Cooper, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Eddie Lacy, and Derrick Henry – all set to make an impression for their respective NFL teams.

Roll Tide

It’s easy to be a college football fan if you love the Crimson Tide. If you’re looking for some amazing Alabama swag for the next game day, or you’re looking for killer birthday gifts, go no further than Fanatics (you can also find authentic NFL gear so you can cheer on your favorite Alabama alums).

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South Carolina Gamecocks in the NFL

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The University of South Carolina was founded in 1801 as the South Carolina College to unite the locals in the aftermath of the American Revolution. Their football program got its start nearly 100 years later in 1892, and although it was a very slow start (they only played a handful of games for the first several years and went without a coach for their first three seasons), they picked up steam at the turn of the century.

The Gamecocks football program brought home the 1969 ACC Championship and the 2010 SEC East Championship, and won an impressive handful of bowl games, including three Outback Bowls (2001, 2002, and 2013), the 2006 Liberty bowl, two Capital One Bowls (2012 and 2014) and the Duck Commander Independence Bowl (also in 2014). They recently enjoyed back-to-back-to-back 11-win seasons under coach Steve Spurrier (2011 to 2013) and are looking for a good season in 2017.

There have been many former Gamecocks who have appeared in the NFL, including the 1980 Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers, who was drafted No. 1 overall in 1981 by the New Orleans Saints. Rogers went on to win the Big Game with the Washington Redskins in 1988 and was selected to the Pro Bowl twice.

Let’s take a look to see what former Gamecocks are currently playing in the NFL.

Carolina Made

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The Houston Texans currently have the most former South Carolina players on their roster, including Jadeveon Clowney, Bruce Ellington, and Johnathan Joseph. The Carolina Panthers have two: Captain Munnerlyn and Damiere Byrd. And the Bills do as well: Patrick DiMarco is on the active roster, while Marquavius Lewis is on the practice squad.

Several other teams feature former Gamecocks. Melvin Ingram, for example, is on the Los Angeles Chargers, and Pharoh Cooper is on the Rams. A.J. Cann plays for the Jags, and Stephon Gilmore takes the field for the Patriots.

Former Gamecocks in the NFL range in age as well, with the youngest born in 1995 and the oldest making their world debut in 1984.

Let’s focus on a few standout South Carolina players. Jadeveon Clowney entered the NFL when he was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2014 draft by the Houston Texans, where he still plays for their defense today. Clowney had a stellar high school career and his large size and speed certainly fared him well at South Carolina. He received quite a few accolades in college, including the 2012 Consensus All-America and the Ted Hendricks Award, and there was plenty of pre-draft hype, with experts agreeing that he was something special.

😳😳😳

A post shared by Jadeveon Clowney (@clowney__90) on

Since entering the NFL, Clowney has been selected to go to one Pro Bowl (so far) in 2016, and while he’s been plagued with a bit of an injury bug, he’s still an important part of the Texans defense (and he even rumbled a Tom Brady interception back for a score earlier in the 2017 season).

Another former Gamecock, cornerback Stephon Gilmore was drafted in 2012 10th overall by the Buffalo Bills, where he played for five seasons before heading to the New England Patriots. Gilmore was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2016 and has nabbed 15 interceptions over his career so far.

Whatever it takes #Patsnation #Craft #Work

A post shared by Stephon Gilmore (@bumpnrungilmore) on

Wideout Pharoh Cooper, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 2016, is another former Gamecock the school should be proud of, especially when he returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown in mid-October 2017.

Either way it goes…. I'm blessed .!!

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Go Cocks Go!

So you’re a South Carolina fan, or you really enjoy watching former Gamecocks make huge plays for your favorite NFL teams? Well, you’re in luck. Not only does Fanatics carry a huge assortment of Gamecocks gear, but they also have plenty of authentic NFL swag so that you can take in the games in style.

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The Evolution of the New Orleans Saints Logo

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Take a trip to The Big Easy – New Orleans, Louisiana – and you’ll find Bourbon Street, Jazz Fest, and passionate football fans. The New Orleans Saints, dazzling fans under the artificial lights of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, play in the NFL’s National Football Conference South Division along with the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Saints are currently celebrating their 50th anniversary as an NFL franchise, which makes this the perfect time to look back to find out how their logo has evolved over the years.

#Saints50

Although they were founded in 1967, the New Orleans Saints didn’t begin their run toward greatness until 1985. That was the year the team’s current owner, Tom Benson, purchased the Saints for over $70 million. Modern success for the Saints started in 2006 when the team signed Sean Payton as their head coach and Drew Brees as their quarterback. They also drafted running back Reggie Bush and reopened the Superdome after completing repairs from the impact of Hurricane Katrina. All these efforts led to the Saints winning a Super Bowl in 2010 – the only one for the franchise presently.

Fleur-de-lis

The New Orleans Saints logo ties back to the history of the city and its French founders. The fleur-de-lis, which translates as “flower of the lily,” is often associated with French royalty and is considered a part of the city’s heritage. Check out the changes to the Saints logo over the past 50 years.

Notable Logo Changes

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1967–1999: This black fleur-de-lis is the first version of the logo. This logo, used for over 30 years, provides fans with an iconic symbol that’s tethered to the history of New Orleans.

2000–Present: As they head into the modern era, the Saints opt to tighten up the logo and change the main color to gold. They also outline the fleur-de-lis in black.

As the Saints Go Marching on

While the New Orleans Saints may not be the most storied franchise in the NFL, they’re still intimately connected with their city and fan base. New Orleans residents and team members continue to work toward bringing another Super Bowl victory home. Let everyone see you marching into the Superdome with team spirit. Find head-to-toe style: Get the best officially licensed Saints merchandise and apparel from Fanatics.

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