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.
The 99-0 countdown central page can be found here.
Note: Jersey numbers are based on 2020 fall-2021 spring rosters.
55: Jahari Kay, DL (Sr.) — Sam Houston
The SHSU defensive line was dominant for the second straight season. The Bearkats allowed just 2.6 yards per carry and 94.9 rushing yards a game en route to the spring national championship.
Kay was a part of the new-look defensive line in 2019 when SHSU made tremendous strides up front. The transfer from Laney College finished with 36 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks.
The spring was when Kay really established himself as an elite defensive player. The 6-foot-2, 255-pounder totaled 38 tackles, 13.5 TFLs, six sacks, four forced fumbles, and one pick-six in 10 games. Kay was highly disruptive in SHSU’s four playoff wins, highlighted by seven tackles and 2.5 TFLs against Monmouth in the first round.
Kay finished eighth in voting for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top FCS defensive player. He was named to the All-Southland Conference First Team along with four different All-American First Teams.
He returns this fall along with the other standout starters on the d-line. Well, the entire starting lineup is back for the Bearkats, making them the preseason favorite to win the national title.