Welcome to the 2020 FCS Jersey Countdown.
Throughout the May-September months, HERO Sports is going to name the best returning FCS player by jersey number, 99-1. Due to rosters being updated at different times for teams across the country and to keep things consistent, jersey numbers are based on the 2019 season.
*Note: Jersey numbers are based on 2019 rosters.
1: Christian Watson, WR (Jr.) — North Dakota State
At 6-foot-4 and hitting speeds up to 23 miles per hour, Watson is arguably the most physically gifted wide receiver in the FCS and perhaps the most underrated player overall in the subdivision.
His 2019 stats may not jump off the page — 34 catches for 732 yards and six touchdowns along with 13 rushes for 162 yards and one TD. But when NDSU throws the ball 15 times or less in seven games, monster numbers aren’t going to happen.
When Watson does get the ball in his hands, though, explosive plays happen. From hurdling defenders to averaging 21.5 yards per reception and 12.5 yards per rush to scoring back-to-back touchdowns of 75 and 70 yards in the semifinals versus Montana State, the Second Team All-MVFC selection and HERO Sports Sophomore All-American showed he has next-level talent.
NDSU is going to get a ton of buzz in the 2021 NFL Draft. Left tackle Dillon Radunz is a first-round pick in some mock drafts. If he declares, quarterback Trey Lance is viewed as a Top 10 pick. And NDSU-to-LSU transfer linebacker Jabril Cox could go on Day 1 or 2.
Watson, just a junior, is also getting some draft hype. NFL Draft Diamonds wonders if this Saturday’s game against Central Arkansas will be his last. And Pro Football Network says Watson is a sleeper in the 2021 draft.