When you are watching an NFL game on TV, you will see a quick three-second head shot of each starting player with a quick blurb like

Cody Latimer --Indiana University

They usually say what university they attended and a few make it very clear by saying, "THE Ohio State University" or the mysterious, "The U" which I believe is Miami University. But out of 22 players two or three are going to give their high school or even middle school. I used to think this meant that they didn't go to college, but that's not true. Almost every single NFL player has attended college.

Before the NFL game they are told by the TV person that they have three seconds to give their name and the school they attended. But there are always a few hardheads that don't follow rules (they are usually defensive players for some reason). Many have had some falling out with their old college and don't want to give it publicity. A few simply want to give a shout out to their old high school. And a comedian will come along occasionally who says,"home schooled" or "Mrs. Farmer's Day Care". Is a 145 pound network geek going to tell a 6'8" 345 pound NFL lineman he can't say "University of Mars"?

Do NFL players even have to go to college? Technically no, but they all do.The NFL is different from the NBA where you only have to wait one year after your high school class graduates. Of course, those "one and done" college basketball players will always have a home at the University of Kentucky.

For football, a player must wait three years after his high school class graduates before entering the NFL. He doesn't have to attend college, just wait three years. However, they all spend those three years in college somewhere. There is no minimum age for the NFL but Tremaine Edmunds of the Buffalo Bills became the youngest player drafted in the first round of the NFL a couple years ago at age 19. He finished high school at age 16 and left Virginia Tech after his Junior year.

Most players are 21 when drafted, although there were a few 20-year-old players entering the NFL this year. There are more 22-year-old players than any other age.