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.
12: Jequez Ezzard, WR (Sr.) — Sam Houston
We almost considered simply embedding 20 video highlights into this article and calling it good. There are way too many to choose from, and watching what Ezzard can do with the ball in his hands speaks for itself. But for those who may want to know more, here it is.
For starters, he’s the most dangerous weapon in the FCS. His college career and play-making abilities began at Howard, where he was a two-time All-MEAC First Team selection.
Ezzard transferred to Sam Houston before the 2020 season, which got pushed to the spring of 2021. He was a huge boost to an offense that lacked explosiveness at times in 2019. The Bearkats, with a healthy Eric Schmid at quarterback, returned to having one of the better offenses in the FCS. And with a dominant defense to match, they went 10-0 and won the FCS national title.
Ezzard was electric all season, being named the Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year and a HERO Sports First Team All-American.
The 5-foot-9, 190-pounder was a threat to score every time he touched the ball, averaging 22.6 yards per catch. Ezzard totaled 38 receptions for 861 yards and nine touchdowns, rushed four times for 33 yards and one TD, and returned 18 punts for 314 yards and two TDs.
Ezzard was special late in the playoffs, catching four passes for 107 yards and a score in a crazy comeback against James Madison in the semifinals. He also had an 80-yard punt return for a TD.
In the national title game versus South Dakota State, Ezzard hauled in 10 catches for 108 yards and two TDs.
Ezzard easily could have entered the transfer portal and found a home at a Power Five program for his last season of eligibility, but he’s back at SHSU this fall and is the No. 1-ranked returning FCS wide receiver.
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.