Leading up to Week 0 games on Aug. 28, HERO Sports is going to name the best returning FCS player by jersey number, 99-0. Due to rosters being updated at different times for teams across the country and to keep things consistent, jersey numbers are based on the 2020 fall-2021 spring season.
Note: Jersey numbers are based on 2020 fall-2021 spring rosters.
96: Amandre Williams, DL (Sr.) — Montana State
The Bobcats finished tied for fourth in the FCS with 108 tackles for loss in 2019 and tied for eighth with 41 sacks.
Playing a big part in the disruptive defense was the arrival of Amandre Williams, a transfer from the University of Washington. Williams played the “Buck” position for the MSU defense, an outside linebacker/defensive end hybrid position. At 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds, Williams’ athleticism and versatility shined in that role.
Earning All-Big Sky Third Team honors, Williams was third on the team with 65 tackles along with 16 tackles for loss, five sacks, and two interceptions. Williams went off in the massive Brawl of the Wild game, racking up six tackles, 2.5 TFLs, and two sacks.
With MSU transitioning to a 4-3 base defense under new head coach Brent Vigen, there will be a technique adjustment for the front seven. Williams will likely be coming off of the edge in a three-point stance (hand on the ground) more often compared to the stand-up two-point stance.
Williams earned multiple 2020 preseason All-American honors before the season was postponed. The Bobcats did not play any spring games after opting out of the Big Sky’s schedule. They were considering playing up to two non-conference games until head coach Jeff Choate took the linebackers coach job at Texas in late January, and Vigen was hired on Feb. 8.
MSU’s last game action was Dec. 21, 2019. It opens the 2021 season on Sept. 4 at Wyoming, a great opportunity against an FBS opponent for Williams to show he’s among the best rushers in the FCS. Wyoming is also the program Vigen was the offensive coordinator for from 2014-2020.
Sam’s coverage of the FCS began in 2012 as the sports editor and eventual editor-in-chief of NDSU’s The Spectrum. After graduating in 2015, he spent three years in the newspaper and magazine industry while starting his work for HERO Sports in the fall of 2016 as a freelancer. In May 2018, he joined the website full time as the Senior FCS Analyst.