Welcome to the 2021 FCS Jersey Countdown.
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.
46: Isaac Dowling, LB (Fr.) — Mercer
Dowling is wearing No. 3 in 2021
Right after Solomon Zubairu gets the nod at No. 48, another Mercer standout defensive player gets honored.
Dowling had a fabulous debut season for the Bears in 2020-21. The 5-foot-10, 215-pound linebacker was everywhere in Mercer’s three fall games. Dowling’s collegiate debut saw a 16-tackle performance with one tackle for loss and one sack against Jacksonville State. Two weeks later against FBS Army, he racked up another 16 tackles, two TFLs, and two sacks. In the last fall game against Abilene Christian, Dowling had nine tackles, one TFL, and one sack.
His play carried over to the spring season, where the last two games saw a combined 27 tackles.
In 10 total games, Dowling totaled 90 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two quarterback hurries, and three pass breakups.
He was named to the All-SoCon Second Team, a HERO Sports Freshman All-American, and finished fourth in voting for the Jerry Rice Award, given to the top FCS freshman.