25 names to know in FCS 2019
- NCAA stiffens waiver transfer rules
- UConn heads toward independence
- Georgia dismisses key WR Holloman
- NCAA, NFL team up on player safety
- Iowa's Epenesa not focusing on '20 draft
By CRAIG HALEY
(STATS) - Spring practices have whet the appetite for the 2019 FCS season, which will be full of top teams and players.
Maybe this season won't even be a North Dakota State runaway with the talent spread so wide across the subdivision.
If there's 25 outstanding players to know, there's 50. If there's a list of 50, make it 100.
But with spring advancing along and the season appearing on the horizon, here are 25 names to know in the FCS:
25. Noah Johnson, Idaho, OG, Sr., and Noah Johnson, QB, Alcorn State: Take your pick, the former should be a first-team All-American and the latter was the 2018 SWAC offensive player of the year.
24. Bryson Armstrong, Kennesaw State, LB, Jr.: The only defensive player to win the STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award made the All-Big South first team in each of his first two seasons.
23. Chris Terrell, Central Arkansas, DE, Sr.: Southland Conference big man has racked up 36 tackles for loss in the last two seasons.
22. Caylin Newton, Howard, QB, Jr.: There's no stopping Cam Newton's younger brother in the MEAC, where he was the offensive player of the year as a sophomore.
21. Nick Wheeler, Colgate, DT, Sr.: The anchor of Colgate's fierce defense which ranked No. 1 in the FCS last season.
20. Aidan O'Neill, Towson, PK, Sr.: If O'Neill matches last year's 22 field goals, he would tie the FCS all-time record of 75, set by Montana's Dan Carpenter from 2004-07.
19. Josh Pearson, Jacksonville State, WR, Sr.: The 6-foot-4 Pearson had chemistry with quarterback Zerrick Cooper, catching touchdowns in his first eight games last year and tying for the FCS high with 17.
18. Sully Laiche, Nicholls, DE, Sr.: Two-time All-Southland first-teamer has 39½ tackles for loss in his career.
17. Cam Gill, Wagner, LB, Sr.: Fast, athletic edge rusher has 24½ sacks in the last two seasons.
16. Zach Larsen, Southern Utah, C, Sr.: The top center in the FCS.
15. Charlie Taumoepeau, Portland State, TE, Sr.: Caught two touchdowns against both Nevada and Oregon last season.
14. Tyrie Adams, Western Carolina, QB, Sr.: With 9,399 career yards of total offense, Adams has Armanti Edwards swag.
13. Isiah Swann, Dartmouth, CB, Sr.: Led the FCS with nine interceptions in only 10 games last season.
12. Nathan Stewart, Sam Houston State, WR, Sr.: Vertical threat's 3,715 career receiving yards are over 1,000 more than the next-highest returnee.
11. Rashad Robinson, James Madison, CB, Sr.: Missed last season after being named the CAA Football preseason defensive player of the year.
10. Christian Rozeboom, South Dakota State, LB, Sr.: Has led the national power Jackrabbits in tackles for three straight seasons.
9. Michael Bandy, San Diego, WR, Sr.: It will be hard to match last year's FCS-high 1,698 receiving yards without quarterback Anthony Lawrence.
8. J'Von Brown, Central Connecticut State, OG, Sr.: 350-pound bulldozer helped spring Aaron Dawson for a Northeast Conference single-game-record 361 rushing yards.
7. James Robinson, Illinois State, RB, Sr.: Burned Colorado State for 184 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in the Redbirds' upset.
6. Tom Flacco, Towson, QB, Sr.: Joe Flacco's younger brother tops FCS returnees in total offense.
5. A.J. Hines, Duquesne, RB, Sr.: Seeks fourth straight season going over 1,000 rushing yards.
4. Jabril Cox, North Dakota State, LB, Jr.: Only a junior, the Missouri Valley Football Conference defensive player of the year is viewed as the No. 1 NFL Draft prospect in the FCS.
3. Dante Olson, Montana, LB, Sr.: Led the FCS in tackles per game (13.7).
2. Jake Maier, UC Davis, QB, Sr.: Big Sky offensive player of the year passed for 3,931 yards and 34 touchdowns.
1. Zach Hall, Southeast Missouri, LB, Sr.: In the 25th year of the STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award, Hall seeks to join Dexter Coakley as a two-time winner.
Updated April 29, 2019