Schools and their athletic department pride themselves not only on wins and losses, but getting players to the pros. It helps for recruiting, it helps connect alumni, and it raises the program’s reputation.
The University of Michigan did just that and more, as if Michigan faithful needed more to brag about. Of the eight professional sports leagues that hosted drafts this season, the Wolverines put athletes in six: the NFL, the NBA, the MLB, the NHL, the MLS and the MLL (Major League Lacrosse). The leagues that they missed? The WNBA and the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League).
Here’s how the athletes were split up, with where they were picked and who picked them in parentheses:
NFL: Jabrill Peppers (No. 25, Browns), Taco Charlton (No. 28, Cowboys), Chris Wormley (No. 74, Ravens), Jourdan Lewis (No. 92, Cowboys), Delano Hill (No. 95, Seahawks), Amara Darboh (No. 106, Seahawks), Ben Gedeon (No. 120, Vikings), Ryan Glasgow (No. 138, Bengals), Jehu Chesson (No. 139, Chiefs), Jake Butt (No. 145, Broncos), Jeremy Clark (No. 197, Jets)
NBA: D.J. Wilson (No. 17, Bucks)
MLB: Oliver Jaskie (No. 183, Mariners), Drew Lugbauer (No. 320, Reds), Ryan Nutof (No. 467, Reds), Harrison Wenson (No. 715, Angels), Bryan Pall (No. 753, Mariners), Jake Bivens (No. 815, Tigers), Johnny Slater (No. 843, Mariners), Michael Hendrickson (No. 852, Cleveland Indians), Grant Reuss (No. 875, Tigers), Mac Lozer (No. 997, Mets), Michael Brdar (1064, Cardinals)
NHL: Luke Martin (No. 52, Hurricanes)
MLS: Lars Eckenrode (No. 17, Toronto FC)
MLL: Mike Schlosser (No. 54, Outlaws)
That’s a lot of people turning pro. Eighteen schools sent at least one athlete to the NFL, MLB and NBA, but Michigan was the only school to send players to at least six different leagues.
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) June 23, 2017
That’s quite an accomplishment, regardless of whether you bleed blue or refer to it as “the school up North.”