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
83: CJ Turner, WR (Jr.) — Southeastern Louisiana
Turner was a two-star recruit out of Louisiana with 10 Division I offers, half of which were from Group of 5 programs.
He showed flashes of promise as a freshman in 2018, catching 36 passes for 422 yards and two touchdowns. The next season was when Turner established himself as one of the most dangerous receiving threats in the FCS.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder hauled in 78 receptions for 963 yards and seven touchdowns. Turner came up big in a thrilling 45-44 first-round playoff win against Villanova, going for 173 yards and two TDs off of 11 catches. His second TD was the game-winner with 2:56 remaining.
In a shortened 2021 spring season, Turner played in six games. He averaged nearly 100 receiving yards per contest, catching 44 balls for 534 yards and five touchdowns. Turner was named to the All-Southland Conference First Team.
Quarterback Cole Kelley plans to return for the upcoming fall season after winning the Walter Payton Award for the best offensive player in the FCS. The Lions averaged 39.5 points per game and had the No. 2 passing offense with 391.9 yards per game.
While the offense is conducive to big stats, Turner has the talent to match his huge numbers. He has a good shot to break some single-season school records this year.
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.