In each edition of the College Football America Yearbook, Publisher Kendall Webb selects a team of the nation’s top incoming freshmen designated by their signing year — e.g., the Class of 2017.
The team is the equivalent of a Freshman All-America team for the upcoming season, but we also continue to track their progress throughout their collegiate careers as the goal is to find players that can make an impact early while also competing for college football’s top awards and All-America status as their careers progress. Ultimately, we try to find players who will succeed at the college level and end up being selected in the NFL Draft. We call it The Program.
Garrett was the No. 1 pick overall by the Cleveland Browns while Fournette was snapped up by the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 4. Overall, seven members of The Program were selected in the first round of the draft including Alabama defensive back Marlon Humphrey (No. 16, Baltimore Ravens), Alabama tight end O.J. Howard (No. 19, Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Utah offensive tackle Garett Bolles (No. 20, Denver Broncos), Michigan linebacker/defensive back Jabrill Peppers (No. 25, Cleveland Browns) and Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster (No. 31, San Francisco 49ers).
In all, 16 of the 19 Program alumni that were eligible for the draft were selected. The second round saw two more alumni selected in the first four picks of the second round with Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson going to Jacksonville with the 34th pick and Washington safety Budda Baker going off the board at No. 36 to the Arizona Cardinals. Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan then went to the Miami Dolphins with the 54th pick.
The third round saw more Program members selected with Alabama wide receiver ArDarius Stewart going to the New York Jets at No. 79 and Auburn defensive tackle Montravius Adams ending up with the Green Bay Packers at No. 93.
In the fourth round, Arizona turned to The Program a second time to grab Pittsburgh guard Dorian Johnson. The Detroit Lions then selected Tennessee linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin at No. 124 followed by the Cincinnati Bengals who grabbed another ex-Volunteer, wide receiver Josh Malone, at No. 128.
Miami (FL) cornerback Corn Elder was the final current Program member selected when the Carolina Panthers called his name in the fifth round at No. 152. Two former Program members were selected, however, with both UCLA defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes (No. 88, Oakland Raiders) and Lamar cornerback Brendan Langley (No. 101, Denver Broncos) selected in the third round.
Of the three Program members that weren’t drafted, two immediately signed after the draft. Louisville wide receiver James Quick signed with the Washington Redskins and South Carolina defensive end Marquavius Lewis signed with the Buffalo Bills. That leaves Ole Miss safety Tony Conner as the only draft-eligible member of The Program currently undrafted and unsigned, although it’s expected Conner will also get an opportunity as a free agent.
- College Football America 2017 Yearbook available now - July 26, 2017
- Garrett, Fournette lead the way for The Program in NFL Draft - April 30, 2017
- Bert Waters Coaching Tree - February 21, 2017
- Benjamin H. Dibblee Coaching Tree - February 21, 2017
- Charles D. Daly Coaching Tree - February 21, 2017
- Lawrence “Biff” Jones Coaching Tree - February 21, 2017
- Dana X. Bible Coaching Tree - February 21, 2017
- Paul J. Amen Coaching Tree - February 15, 2017
- Bill Hildebrand Coaching Tree - February 15, 2017
- Greg Robinson Coaching Tree - February 12, 2017