The Big Ten will be heavily represented when the 2011 National Football League (NFL) season kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 8, with 234 players appearing on the 53-man active rosters of the 32 NFL teams. Former student-athletes from all 12 Big Ten programs appear on an NFL roster, led by 35 players from Ohio State. The Buckeyes are one of seven college football programs to boast at least 35 players on the NFL's 53-man rosters. In all, five Big Ten teams feature at least 25 former players on NFL rosters, including Ohio State, Iowa (31), Michigan (26), Nebraska (25) and Penn State (25). The Big Ten and SEC are the only conferences to feature five schools with 25 or more players on the 53-man rosters. Only 16 college football programs can boast 25 or more NFL representatives. The Big Ten's 234-player contingent ranks second among all conferences behind only the SEC (268).