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.
43: Forrest Rhyne, LB (Sr.) — Villanova
Rhyne had one of the best FCS breakthrough seasons in 2019.
After a combined 19 tackles in 2017 and 2018, he racked up 116 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks in 2019. Against Villanova’s top opponent of the season, James Madison, he totaled 13 tackles, three TFLs, and two sacks. Rhyne had double-digit tackles in seven of 13 games and was named to the All-CAA First Team.
The tackling machine entered 2020-21 as a HERO Sports First Team All-American. But the 6-foot-1, 225-pounder was only able to play in two games in the spring of 2021. He still was named to the All-CAA First Team with 22 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, and one sack.
Rhyne is all over the field and is one of the best run-stoppers in the subdivision. He is ranked the sixth-best linebacker in the FCS entering this season.
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.